Booker lifts third quarter sales

UK cash and carry chain Booker reported an increase in third quarter sales and added that the outlook for profits and net cash for the year remains in line with expectations.

UK cash and carry chain Booker reported an increase in third quarter sales and added that the outlook for profits and net cash for the year remains in line with expectations.

Total sales, excluding Makro, rose by 3.1% for the 16 weeks to January 4th 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The food and drink wholesaler, which supplies corner shops, pubs and restaurants, said non-tobacco sales climbed 4.2%. Tobacco sales rose by 1.3%.

On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 3.1%, non-tobacco sales rose by 4.1% and tobacco sales by 1.3%.

"Booker Wholesale, our cash and carry division, had a good quarter. Customer satisfaction further improved, customer numbers were up and sales were in line with expectations," the group said in a statement.

Fresh departments continued to perform well, with fruit and vegetable sales up 30% on the same period last year, it added.

The group, which is expanding its catering and food service operations, said Chef Direct, the foodservice business Booker launched last year, is making good progress. While Chef Direct is incurring start up costs, its performance is on track.

Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said: "Amid the challenging economic environment...the Booker Wholesale business is doing well and we are pleased to be rolling out Classic and Chef Direct."

"We are excited about the opportunities of Booker and Makro coming together with the continuing aim of helping independent businesses prosper in the UK."

CJ

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