Booker reports 16-week like-for-likes at nearly 20%

Booker Group has reported a 19.1% like-for-like total sales increase for the 16 weeks to Jan 3, 2014.  The Group’s like-for-like total sales (excluding Makro) were 2.0% higher with non tobacco like-for-likes up 4.1%. 

The group also reported that Booker Wholesale had a good quarter, with customer numbers up and sales in line with expectations.  Booker Direct, Ritter, Classic and Chef Direct also did well, with Chef Direct, the foodservice business it launched in 2012, now supplying more than 250,000 meals a day.

The wholesaler also reported that its turnaround of Makro was progressing in line with expectations.

Charles Wilson, group chief executive said the outlook for profits and net cash for the year remained in line with expectations: “This was a good quarter with non tobacco like-for-likes up 4.1%.  Our plans for bringing Booker and Makro together are on track.  We continue to improve the choice, prices and service to catering, retailing and small business customers in the UK.”

Guy Farrant, managing director, added: “Booker Wholesale is making good progress for our customers.  We continue to improve our fresh offer and remain focussed on delivering outstanding value for all of our customers.  More independent businesses are choosing to shop at Booker and customer satisfaction continues to improve.  Although the outlook remains challenging, I am confident through improving choice, price and service we will help our customer operate a profitable business.”

And Steve Fox, sales director – retail, said: “Our retail business has performed well with customers welcoming our continued focus on offering outstanding value.  Our 40% POR promotion remains popular with retailers, along with our Euro Shopper range that delivers a minimum of 30% POR.  Premier, Retail Club and Shop Local 2 Go have had a good quarter with recruitment going from strength to strength.  The outlook remains challenging, however we are committed to increasing choice, lowering process and improving our service to help our customers operate a profitable business.”

Stuart Hyslop, sales director – catering, added: “Our plan of delivering price stability for caterers through our Locked Down campaign continues to drive footfall. We have focussed our efforts throughout the Christmas period on the products that caterers use the most to maintain their margins and plan with confidence. As a result, customer satisfaction has improved and I would like to thank our customers for choosing Booker.”

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