•  Post-tax profit up 27%
  •  Total sales up 9.4%
  •  LFL sales up 6.1%

UK cash-and-carry retailer Booker has reported a 27% rise in annual profits, boosted by higher sales, improved margins and an extra week of trading.

The company said today that post-tax profit increased to GBP74.9m (US$117.4m) in the 53 weeks to 30 March. On a 52-week basis profit rose 25% to GBP74m.

Gains were driven by a 9.4% increase in 53-week sales, which rose to GBP3.9bn. Like-for-like sales for a 52-week period rose 6.1%, the company added, as Booker was able to grow footfall and develop its online presence. Internet sales rose 21%.

The company's operating margin improved by 0.17 percentage points to 2.30% due to a favourable product mix and control of costs.

Looking to the coming 12 months, Booker said the economy is expected to "remain challenging" and the food wholesale market "remains very competitive".

"Nevertheless, we expect to continue to make progress in this difficult environment. Booker has made a good start to the current financial year, even compared to the very strong performance in the first seven weeks of last year and, in spite of the fact that tobacco sales have been slow, we remain on course to meet our expectations for the year."

To view the full earnings release, click here and click here for our On the money coverage of the retailer's results