The Grocer’s ranking of the UK’s 30 biggest grocery wholesalers has a new number one.
Palmer & Harvey has topped the Big 30 since the ranking was launched in 2005, but this year Booker has leapfrogged its rival to take the top spot.
Booker toppled P&H following its acquisition of Makro in April 2013. Makro’s financials have been subsumed into Booker for the first time - boosting its turnover by 17.3% to £4.7bn, ahead of P&H’s £4.2bn.
Booker also reported a 21.2% increase in profits to £118.7m, a 17.4% increase in depots and a 33.1% increase in staff in the year to 28 March 2014. Its profit margin was 2.5%.
“We are proud to serve our retail, catering and small business customers,” said Booker CEO Charles Wilson. “Through improving choice, prices and service, we have made progress, but we know we have a lot more to do. We look forward to growing in the future.”
This year’s Big 30 paints a largely positive picture for wholesale. Turnover rose 4.5% to £28.6bn with 20 of the 30 wholesalers reporting an increase in sales - led by DCS Group, which saw its sales rise 21.1%.
Profits among the 29 where profits were available rose 4.4% to £436.9m, giving a profit margin of 1.5%. However, 15 wholesalers reported a drop in profits, while two companies - P&H and Musgrave Retail Partners GB - made a loss.
The number of depots rose 7% to 583, while the number of staff rose 5.6% to 76,370.