Strong Q3 trading for Booker despite tobacco sales decline

Booker, the UK’s largest wholesaler today (January 12) posted a 3.2% increase in third-quarter group like-for-like sales, adding that it remained on course to “meet expectations” for the year to March 24.

In the 16 weeks to December 30, 2016, total sales were up 2.9%%, with tobacco sales down 1.3% and non-tobacco sales up 4.8%. Like-for-like tobacco sales were 1% lower, while non-tobacco sales were up 5.1%.

Internet sales rose by 10% to £333m, excluding Budgens and Londis, and the company said Booker India continues to make progress.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “Booker Group continues to make good progress with like-for-like non-tobacco sales up 5.1%. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden Booker Group are on track.

“Budgens and Londis are making a solid contribution to the group. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.”

Steve Fox, MD, Booker Group – Retail, said: “We are pleased with our retail performance and the continued integration of Booker Retail Partners. We had a good Christmas and remain committed to helping our customers ‘make more and save more’. The market is challenging however, I am confident we can continue to help our customers prosper.”

Stuart Hyslop, managing director, Booker Group – Catering & Small Business, added: “Our catering business has made solid progress. We have continued to listen to our customers to deliver great value for them. Christmas trading was strong and I am looking forward to further supporting our customers during the coming months.”

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