Booker reports sales increase

Booker has maintained its recovery, reporting a further increase in sales, and its former chairman and chief executive officer Hans Kristian Hustad has stepped down from its board.
Sales in the 14 weeks to July 4, including Blueheath, were up 1.9% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were up 4.7%, but the company said the ban on smoking in public places was responsible for a 2.2% decline in tobacco sales.
Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “This was a good performance and Booker continues to make progress in a challenging market.”
Hustad was brought in to head Booker in February 2005 when it was taken over by a consortium lead by the Icelandic company Baugur. He became non executive chairman the following November when Charles Wilson was appointed chief executive, and joined the board of Booker Group after its reverse takeover of Blueheath last year.
His departure, and that of another non executive director Jim McMahon, follows the decision by Baugur to sell its stake in Booker Group.

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