There’s no stopping Booker

Booker’s final results for the 52 weeks ended March 28, 2014 once more underlined the strength of the wholesale sector compared to the grocery multiples.

While the UK’s supermarket big-hitters continue to struggle to engage consumers, Booker proved the success of CEO Charles Wilson’s strategy, reporting post-exceptional pre-tax profit up 38% to £105.2m on the back of a sales rise of 17.3% to £4.7bn.

Like-for-like sales (excluding Makro) were up 2.1%, with non-tobacco sales posting a creditable 4.4% increase, while tobacco sales slipped a little – down 1.7%.

Wilson and his team, speaking to industry journalists today, said Booker was succeeding in its mission to broaden the base of the Features > Business, helped by last year’s acquisition of Makro, pointing out that sales in 2008 were made up of £2.1bn to retailers, £850m to caterers and just £80m to small businesses. This year the figures look very different with retailers contributing £2.7bn of sales, caterers £1.6bn and SMEs £400m.

And the business continues to strengthen its online growth with sales via the web now totalling £777m – an increase of 10% with 334,000 customers ordering online now compared to 255,000 in 2013.

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