Cash & carry giant Booker has continued to outpace the grocery market and recorded growth well above inflation.

Total sales rose by 7.6%, or 6.5% on a like-for-like basis, in the 12 weeks to 9 September.

Fresh departments performed particularly well, with fruit and veg sales up 34%. Earlier this week, Kantar Worldpanel figures showed the grocery retail market grew by 4.5% in the 12 weeks to 4 September.

Booker’s growth was slower than its previous quarter, however, when the Royal Wedding, Easter and hot weather helped it post a bumper sales increase of 9.5% in the 12 weeks to 17 June.

“Customers have rewarded us with an increased share of their spend and the number of customers has increased,” said CEO Charles Wilson.

The integration of Classic Drinks, which Booker bought last October alongside Ritter-Courivaud, had gone well, with a number of sites successfully transferring into Booker branches, added Booker Direct MD Mark Aylwin. A limited range of Ritter-Courivaud fine catering products had been launched into a selection of Booker branches and had proved popular, he said. Booker Brighton, meanwhile, has introduced a ‘shop within a shop’ to ­offer the fine ingredients.

Booker also announced that its symbol group Premier will advertise on the pitch side of Super League rugby league games in a new sponsorship deal.