Booker Group seals JV in India to aid expansion efforts

Booker India

Booker Group has joined forces with the FMCG arm of the Future Group in an attempt to expand and develop its Booker India business.

The UK’s leading food and drink wholesaler entered the Indian market in 2009, and now has a network of six cash and carry stores that supply food, FMCG and related merchandise to small retailers and enterprises in the regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat, including four sites in Mumbai, along with one each in Pune and Surat. As part of the operation, there are also 200 associated Happy Shopper stores.

Future Consumer – an arm of the Future Group – offers a range of brands and products in the Indian market, including drinks brand Sunkist. Its product range will be distributed through the Booker India network as part of the JV.

Kishore Biyani, vice-chairman at Future Consumer, told reporters in India: “Booker India has developed one of the lowest cost distribution networks for FMCG products through its cash and carry network in India. We are now happy to join hands to leverage their expertise in engaging with small, neighbourhood retailers and reach out to them with the FMCG brands and products being developed by our organisation.”

The move comes as Metro Cash and Carry and Walmart India plan to expand their base in India. Local media reports in India indicate that Metro AG wants to double wholesale outlets in the country to 50 by 2020. Walmart plans to add around 50 stores in the next five years.

As for the Booker Group as a whole, the company announced last month that it has increased its interim dividend by 11 per cent after a half-year surge in revenue and pre-tax profit.

The company reported revenues of £2.52bn for the six months to 9 September 2016, up from £2.24bn a year earlier. Pre-tax profit climbed to £81m from £74.1m.

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