booker depot warehouse wholesale

Sales at Booker Group surged 15.2% in the second quarter as the acquisition of Budgens and Londis began to pay off, but the tobacco display ban continued to offset growth.

The wholesaler said it had made “good progress” with the integration of Budgens and Londis, which it bought last September, and its leading symbol group, Premier, also continued to grow.

Like-for-like non-tobacco sales grew by 0.9% in the 12 weeks to 9 September compared with the same period last year.

However, the continued impact of the tobacco display ban on small stores caused like-for-like tobacco sales to drop by 3.5%. This led total like-for-like group sales to fall by 0.4%.

“Booker Group continues to make good progress with sales in the quarter up 15.2%,” CEO Charles Wilson said.

“Our plans to ‘Focus, Drive and Broaden’ Booker Group are on track. Budgens and Londis joined the group last September and are making a solid contribution. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.

Both the catering and retail sides of Booker also performed “well”.

“Overall, our independent retail business has performed well and we’re pleased with the progress Booker Retail Partners has made,” retail MD Steve Fox added.

“We have focussed on helping our customers make more and save more. Although the market is challenging, we remain committed to improving choice, price and service for all independent retailers.”

The group said it was on course to meet expectations for the year ending March 2017.