As well as announcing a proposed takeover of Londis and Budgens, Booker today also posted a strong set of preliminary annual results (52 weeks to March 27, 2015), sending the price of shares in the wholesaler up this morning.
Total Group sales (including Booker India and Makro) were up 1.5% to £4.8bn, and operating profit was up by 17% to £140.3m; post-tax profits were up 12% to just under £118m. Internet sales were up by 12% to £874m.
Booker like-for-like sales, excluding Makro, were up 2.3%, tobacco sales went up by 1.1% in a very challenging market and non-tobacco sales (again excluding Makro) were up 2.9%. Catering/foodservice like-for-like sales were up 2%.
CEO Charles Wilson (pictured) told Wholesale News: “It’s been another good year, in fact it has been a good decade for Booker… delivered sales are now £1.4bn, compared to just £600m in 2008. We have continued to simplify the Features > Business, improve customer satisfaction and our prices [to our retail and catering]customers are below the market average.
“Customer satisfaction levels [measured by him! and Booker]are now running at 85.6%, compared to 78.2% in 2007, and we now we serve independents, multi-sites and national chains in both retail and catwering.
“With Budgens and Londis, we have two fascias that will complement our existing Premier and Family Shopper offers. We also have brands, from Euro Shopper and Chef’s Essentials to Ritter Courivaud, Classic Drinks and Chef’s Larder for every kind of retail, catering and SME customer.”
He added that 11 Booker and Makro branches were now “folded in” together, and that 80% of the company’s vehicle fleet had now been updated.
“Although there are challenges ahead our plan to focus, drive and broaden Booker Group continues to make progress,” he concluded.
Look out for more on Booker in the June issue of Wholesale News.