Booker accelerates its growth in sales

Booker is continuing to increase its rate of growth with total sales in the 12 weeks to June 19 up 7.8% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were up 10.4% and tobacco sales grew by 3.9%.

Chief executive Charles Wilson told ProWholesaler both the retail and catering sides of the business were contributing to the growth and he was pleased with the progress.

He said the results had been helped by good weather, compared to the same period last year.

He added: “Our Euroshopper range came through strongly, with good performances by chilled meats and ice cream, Booker Basics sold well, and the warm weather helped soft drinks sales.”

Poorer performances by tobacco, which accounts for about one third of sales, have tended to depress recent overall figures, but it also showed strong growth at 3.9%. Wilson said this reflected reduced imports of tobacco and that wholesalers across the sector were seeing improved performances.

He said that previously Booker’s tobacco sales had been hit particularly hard by the smoking ban because of the high proportion of customers in the on trade, where it had the greatest effect.

Wilson said plans for the first Indian depot, in Mumbai, were on schedule for a September opening.

l Trading in Booker’s shares transferred to the main London Stock Exchange from the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) on July 1.

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