Booker maintains growth

Booker’s has continued its rapid rate of growth since Charles Wilson took over as chief executive in October 2005, and it has virtually wiped out its debt.

In its second quarter trading statement for the 12 weeks to September 11 like-for-like sales rose by 7.6% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco like-for-likes rose by 8.5%, while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 6.2%.

In the first half of its financial year for the 24 weeks to September 11 like-for-like sales were up 7.7%. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales rose by 9.4%, while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 5.1%.

Net debt at the half year end was around £4m, compared to £28.9m a year ago.

Details of profits will be revealed in its interim results on October 13. The company said profits for the full year remain in line with management expectations.

Charles Wilson, Booker chief executive, said: “Our customer numbers have increased and customer satisfaction has improved, resulting in stronger Booker sales. We look forward to continuing to help independent caterers and retailers prosper in the difficult economic environment.”

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