Wholesale Group Booker Posts 13% Increase In Sales
UK wholesaler Booker has posted a 13% increase in total sales in the 24 weeks to September 9th, to £2.5 billion.
Operating profit at the group stood at £81.4 million, up 9%.
The group saw a positive performance from its retail operations: Premier, its symbol group increased its store count to 3,358 outlets in the period, while the group has already generated £28 million from its Londis and Budgens operations, which were acquired from Ireland's Musgrave Group last year.
"This was a good half. Our plans to Focus, Drive and Broaden the business remain on track," said Charles Wilson, Booker chief executive.
"We strive to improve choice, prices and service for our catering, retail and small business customers. Londis and Budgens joined the Group last September and the turnaround of the businesses is going well. We look forward to helping our customers prosper in the second half."
Commenting on its performance, Michael Coombs, analyst at Verdict Retail, said, "Its performance has seen a boost from the impressive turnaround performance of Londis and Budgens, with Booker noting that sales grew 15% in week 24 – a huge swing from the 20% decline witnessed in week 1 of the period.
"However, Booker has been unable to overcome the challenges presented by the government tobacco display ban and this has seen tobacco l-f-l sales decline by 5.6%. With the tobacco industry suffering from ongoing government legislation, Booker must ensure it continue to sufficiently diversify its portfolio to reduce its reliance on trading in this challenging category."
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.