Booker Group toasts strong Q3 non-tobacco sales

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Booker Group has posted strong sales growth figures for the most recent financial quarter.

The UK’s leading food wholesaler saw total sales rise by 2.9%, while like-for-like sales were up by 3.2% in the 16 weeks to 30 December 2016.

Group non-tobacco sales rose by 4.8%, with non tobacco like-for-likes up 5.1%, but, in a trend other wholesalers will also be familiar with, group tobacco sales declined by 1.3%, with tobacco like-for-like sales down 1.0%.

Charles Wilson, Booker‘s chief executive, said: “Booker Group continues to make good progress, with like-for-like non-tobacco sales up 5.1%. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden Booker Group are on track. Budgens and Londis are making a solid contribution to the group. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.”

Steve Fox, managing director for the Booker Group – Retail division, said: “We are pleased with our retail performance and the continued integration of Booker Retail Partners. We had a good Christmas, and remain committed to helping our customers ‘make more and save more’. The market is challenging; however, I am confident we can continue to help our customers prosper.”

Stuart Hyslop, managing director for the Booker Group – Catering & Small Business division, added: “Our catering business has made solid progress. We have continued to listen to our customers to deliver great value for them. Christmas trading was strong, and I am looking forward to further supporting our customers during the coming months.”

The group did issue the caveat that the timing of the New Year relative to the comparable financial period last year flattered non-tobacco sales in Q3 by circa 0.5%, and added that it will have a corresponding adverse impact in Q4.

Internet sales increased by 10% in Q3 to £333m, excluding Budgens and Londis, and Booker India continues to make progress, the Group noted.

A spokesperson said Booker Group remains on course to meet expectations for the financial year ending 24 March 2017.


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