Booker has posted a 3.1% rise in third-quarter like-for-like sales.

Non-tobacco sales rose 4.1% on a like-for-like basis, while tobacco sales rose 1.3% in the 16 weeks to 4 January.

The cash & carry giant added that fruit and vegetables sales rose 30% during the period, and its Chef Direct foodservice business, launched last year, was “making good progress”.

Its acquisition of Makro is currently being examined by the Competition Commission, but Booker said it “remained confident that, by working together, we will be able to improve choice, prices and service to the caterers, retailers and small and medium sized enterprises that we serve”.

Booker CEO Charles Wilson added: “We are excited about the opportunities of Booker and Makro coming together with the continuing aim of helping independent businesses prosper in the UK.”