Booker said the result excludes the Makro business, which it acquired in July from Germanys Metro

Booker said the result excludes the Makro business, which it acquired in July from Germany's Metro

The UK's largest cash and carry wholesaler Booker Group has posted an increase in third-quarter sales, boosted by revenue growth in all its divisions.

In the 16 weeks ended 4 January, total sales rose by 3.1%, while like-for-like sales also grew 3.1%, the company reported today (16 January).

In the group's cash and carry division, Booker said customer numbers were up and sales were in line with expectations. Its fresh departments continued to perform well, it said, with fruit and vegetable sales up 30% on the same period last year.

Booker said the result excludes the Makro business, which it acquired in July from Germany's Metro, due to an ongoing review by the Competition Commission.

The retailer said its outlook for profits and net cash for the year remains in line with expectations.

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Booker Group plc

Quarter Three Interim Management Statement

Booker is pleased to announce its trading performance for the 16 weeks to 4 January 2013.  Total Sales, excluding Makro (see Notes), rose by 3.1% on the same period last year.  Non-tobacco sales were 4.2% higher, while tobacco sales rose by 1.3%.  On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 3.1%, non-tobacco sales rose by 4.1% and tobacco sales by 1.3%.

Booker Wholesale, our cash and carry division, had a good quarter.  Customer satisfaction further improved, customer numbers were up and sales were in line with expectations. Fresh departments continued to perform well, with fruit and vegetable sales up 30% on the same period last year.

Booker Direct and Ritter Courivaud, our speciality foods business, performed well.  We are expanding Classic to become a national wholesaler to the on trade.  Since September Classic is operating from a further five Booker branches.  Following start up costs the performance is encouraging.

Chef Direct, the foodservice business we launched last year, is making good progress including the award of the Aramark business in the UK.  Aramark is one of the UK's leading contract caterers and we are delighted to be serving this prestigious client.  Chef Direct is incurring start up costs, but its performance is on track. 

We acquired Makro on July 4th 2012. The Competition Commission is reviewing the transaction and during its review we are required to hold the Makro business separate from the rest of Booker.  Makro has been struggling for the past few years and its performance in the last quarter has continued to be challenging, but in line with our expectations.  The senior management of Booker and Makro remain 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.  We will be able to offer foods and non foods via the internet, delivery and cash and carry.  This will help the customers of both Booker and Makro prosper.

Expansion in India continues with the opening of our third and fourth branches in Mumbai in Spring 2013. 

The outlook for profits and net cash for the year remains in line with expectations.

Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said:

"Amid the challenging economic environment Booker continues to improve choice, prices and service for our customers.  The Booker Wholesale business is doing well and we are pleased to be rolling out Classic and Chef Direct.  We are excited about the opportunities of Booker and Makro coming together with the continuing aim of helping independent businesses prosper in the UK."

 

Original source: Booker Group