Booker issues upbeat Q3 trading statement

Booker, the UK’s largest wholesaler, today (January 14) unveiled its trading performance for the 16 weeks to 1 January 2016.

Group sales, including Budgens and Londis, rose by 10.5% on the same period last year.

Booker Wholesale with Makro, its cash and carry division, had “a good quarter for customer numbers, customer satisfaction and cash profit”. Non-tobacco sales reduced by 1.3% on a like-for-like basis, impacted by deflation in food prices and customers reporting weak consumer demand during the period.

Tobacco sales continued to be adversely impacted by the ban on small stores displaying tobacco products, down 6.9% like-for-like. Booker Direct, Chef Direct and Ritter performed as expected, the company said, adding that it had made good progress on the integration of Londis and Budgens, which joined the Group on 14 September 2015. Sales in India continued to make progress from our six branches.

Charles Wilson, Booker chief executive, said: “Booker Group continued to make progress in a challenging market. Our plans to Focus, Drive and Broaden remain on track. Budgens and Londis are settling into the Group well as we continue to improve choice, prices and service for all our customers.”

Steve Fox, MD, Booker Group Retail, said: “We are pleased with the progress that our retail business has made. We have continued to focus on 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 going well. I would like to thank our customers for choosing Booker.”

Stuart Hyslop, MD, Booker Group Catering and Small Business, added: “We continue our commitment to increasing choice, lowering price and improving our service for our Caterers. Our efforts are focussed on delivering great value and this is most evident through the continued success of our Locked Down package. The security of knowing that the most commonly shopped lines are at a consistent price, each and every day has helped our Caterers plan their menu’s with confidence. We continue to listen to our catering customers and provide the support that matters most to them.”

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