Food and drink wholesale group Booker Group has reported a 4.3 per cent year-on-year rise in total sales in the 12 weeks to September 14th, with non-tobacco sales were 3.9 per cent higher, while tobacco sales rose by 5.1 per cent.
On a like-for-like basis, total sales rose by 4.4%, non-tobacco sales by 3.8% and tobacco sales by 5.4%.
Total sales (excluding Makro) in the 24 weeks to September 14th rose by 3.3% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were 4.2% higher, while tobacco sales rose by 2.0%. On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 3.1%, non-tobacco sales by 3.8% and tobacco sales by 1.8%.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
The results were boosted by a good performance by Booker Wholesale, the cash and cash division, which saw an improvement to customer satisfaction, higher customer number and sales which matched expectations.
Booker Direct, its delivered wholesale division, also had a good half, while Ritter Courivaud, the speciality foods business, performed well. Classic, the on-trade wholesaler, had a good period and has been rolled out into a further five Booker branches. Chef Direct, the foodservice business it launched in January, is making good progress having secured several catering accounts.
Makro, a business the firm acquired in early July, has been struggling for the past few years and its performance in the past ten weeks has continued to be challenging.
Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said: "Booker Wholesale and Booker Direct have had a good start to the year as we continue to improve choice, price and service. We are confident that once we have clearance from the competition authorities, Booker and Makro will be able to improve choice, prices and service for the caterers, retailers and small business in the UK. Makro will prove a good addition to the Booker Group."
The firm added: "The senior management of Booker and Makro are confident that, by working together, we will be able to improve choice, prices and service to the caterers, retailers and small and medium sized enterprises that we serve. We will be able to offer foods and non-foods via the internet, delivery and cash and carry. This will help Booker Group in its ambition to become the UK's leading wholesaler."
October’s NS&I Premium Bond winners revealed - have you scooped £1 million?
Two lucky NS&I Premium Bond winners are now millionaires this October. Find out here you are one of them
By Kalpana Fitzpatrick Published
Nationwide: House prices fall across the UK at fastest pace since 2009
House prices drop 5.3% on the year as high borrowing costs hit prospective buyers.
By Pedro Gonçalves Published