The smoking ban in public places introduced last summer has hit cash & carry giant Booker.

The wholesaler reported a 7.9% fall in like-for-like tobacco sales for the 16 weeks to 4 January, while like-for-like non-tobacco sales rose 2.4%.

Total sales, including Blueheath, were up 1.3% on the same period last year.

“This is a solid performance in a challenging market and Booker continues to make good progress,” said CEO Charles Wilson. Sales, stock, profits and net debt all remained in line with management expectations, he added.