Booker this morning (March 31) announced its trading performance for the 12 weeks to March 25, 2016.
Group sales, including Budgens and Londis, rose by 10.6% on the same period last year.
Booker Wholesale (including Makro), “had a good quarter for customer numbers, customer satisfaction and cash profit”. Non tobacco sales reduced by 0.7% on a like-for-like basis. These sales were impacted by deflation in food prices and many customers reporting weak consumer demand during the period.
Tobacco sales continued to be adversely impacted by the display ban, down 6.1% like-for-like.
Booker Direct, Chef Direct, Ritter and Booker India performed “as we expected”.
For the 52 weeks to 25 March 2016, total sales (including Budgens and Londis) were £5bn, up by 5.0% compared to last year. Booker like-for-like total sales were down by 1.9%. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales declined by 0.3%, and like-for-like tobacco sales fell by 5.2%.
Like-for-like total sales to caterers rose by 0.6% including Classic and by 1.9% excluding Classic. Classic, Booker’s on-trade wholesale business, exited some unprofitable business. Like-for-like total sales to retailers reduced by 2.2% primarily due to the tobacco display ban. Customer satisfaction scores were strong and internet sales increased by 12% to £979m (excluding Budgens and Londis).
The Group had approximately £126m net cash at the end of the year. Profits for the 52 weeks to 25 March 2016 “remained in line with expectations”.
Charles Wilson, Booker CEO, said: “Overall, 2015/16 was a good year. Customer satisfaction scores were strong, sales and profits were the best we have ever achieved. We made good progress on the integration of Londis and Budgens. We continue to improve choice, prices and service to our customers. Booker Group remains on track to Focus, Drive and Broaden the business.”
Steve Fox, MD, Booker Group Retail, said: “We are pleased with the progress that our retail business has continued to make. We remain committed to improving choice, price and service to help our customers make more profits. The retail channels of Premier, Family Shopper and Retail Club and the integration of Londis and Budgens is on track and going well. I would like to thank our customers for choosing Booker.”
Stuart Hyslop, managing director, Booker Group Catering & Small Business, added: “We continue to help our caterers through increasing choice, lowering price and improving our service for them. This is being achieved through delivering great value through our Locked Down package. This is the where we have secured a great low price on the most commonly shopped lines to help our customers plan their menu’s with confidence. We continue to listen to our catering customers and provide the support that matters most to them.”