Shares in UK wholesale retailer Booker rose this morning (14 October) after the company posted a 24% jump in half-year profits.

Booker's stock was up 2.8% at 51.2p at 09:37 this morning following the group's announcement of its first-half results.

Booker said its pre-tax profits increased 24.2% to GBP36.9m (US$59.2m) during the 24 weeks to 10 September. Operating profit was up 13.6% at GBP39.2m.

Total sales climbed 5.5% to GBP1.7bn on the back of a 5.3% rise in like-for-like sales.

Chief executive Charles Wilson: "Booker is helping more customers compete by improving our choice, prices and service. Our sales growth is good and our plans to broaden the business are progressing well."

Meanwhile, Booker announced the acquisitions of fine-foods supplier Ritter-Courivaud and drinks wholesaler Classic Drinks.

Booker said it had paid GBP14.5m for Ritter, which supplies the horeca sector, and GBP4m for Classic Drinks, which serves pubs and clubs.