Booker has reported sales growth far in excess of the major multiples for the last quarter of 2011.
For the 16 weeks to December 30 total sales rose by 7% compared with the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were 6.7% higher, while tobacco sales rose by 7.6%. Fresh departments performed particularly strongly with fruit and vegetable sales up 17%.
On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 6.5%, non-tobacco sales rose by 5.8% and tobacco sales were up 7.6%. Customer numbers and the average spend per customer also increased.
Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said the company’s expansion in India was continuing with the opening of its second and third branches in Mumbai scheduled early this year.
Stuart Hyslop, sales director – catering, said: “Our catering business made good progress during the period. Booker was open throughout the Christmas break so we were there when our customers needed us. This has seen Booker rewarded with more customers shopping with us and the average customer spend increasing.”
Steve Fox, sales director – retail, said: “The outlook remains challenging with shoppers continuing to watch every penny they spend. Customer numbers have improved and we are grateful for that more customers are choosing to spend more at Booker.”