Booker half year results: Profits surge 9% despite tobacco sales slump

Wholesaler Booker has today (October 12) reported a 9% rise in profits and confirmed that its £3.7bn merger with Tesco is still set to close by early 2018, despite an ongoing competition probe into the deal.

The group released interim results showing that pre-tax profit jumped to £88m in the 24 weeks to September 8, though total sales grew only 2.5% to £2.6 billion.

Revenues were weighed down in part by a 9% drop in tobacco sales (thanks to EUTPD II and other “legislative changes”).

But non-tobacco sales rose 7.5%, helping to offset the decline. The wholesaler also had “good progress” in its catering and retail operations, which saw like-for-like sales rise 8.1% and 0.6%, respectively.

Booker’s CEO Charles Wilson added that he was still confident it would close its multibillion-pound merger deal with Tesco by early next year, despite an ongoing CMA investigation and objections from competitors.

We’ll have more on Booker in the October issue of Wholesale News – out next week.


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