Booker has reported a 1.9% increase in total sales for the half-year to 12 September.

In a trading update released this morning, the wholesaler said like-for-like sales during the 24-week period rose 2.4%, excluding Makro, with non-tobacco sales up 3.4%. Tobacco like-for-likes rose 0.6%.

In its second quarter covering the 12 weeks to 12 September, total sales inched up by just 0.1%. Like-for-likes, excluding Makro, rose 1.8%, with tobacco sales down 0.5% but non-tobacco sales up 3.1%.

Updating on the ongoing merger of Makro into its business, chief executive Charles Wilson said the turnaround was “on track with cash and profits in line with expectations”.

“Makro’s non tobacco like-for-likes were down 10.8% in the 12 weeks and down 11.4% in the half as we continued to exit non profitable, non-professional categories,” Wilson added.

“We have converted four Makro outlets to the new, improved format and will complete a further four in the second half.”

Wilson also said Booker was “on course to meet expectations for the year ending 27 March 2015.”