UK wholesaler Booker saw sales rise during 2010 as it worked to improve customer satisfaction and and broaden its business.

The company said today (31 March) that in the year to 25 March, sales grew by 6.2% to GBP3.6bn (US$5.7m), while like-for-like sales were up 5.1%. Excluding tobacco sales, like-for-like sales were up by 5.3%.

It said that internet sales increased by 29% to GBP526m, adding that Booker Direct is “doing well”.

Meanwhile, Ritter-Corivaud and Classic, the specialist fine foods supplier and on-trade wholesaler, which Booker acquired in October 2010, have “performed in-line with expectations”.

The company said that trading in India continues to be “encouraging” and it is in the process of opening its second branch in Mumbai.

Profits for the year were in line with management expectations.

For the fourth quarter, sales were up 6.4%, while like-for-like sales were up by 4.4%. Non-tobacco like-for-likes were up 5.2%, while the wholesaler added that its fresh departments did particularly well with fruit and vegetables up 52%.

Booker CEO Charles Wilson said: “Our plans to broaden the business remain on track. Booker Direct is doing well, with Ritter-Courivaud and Classic fitting nicely into the group. Online sales have continued to grow strongly and India is encouraging. The UK economy is expected to remain challenging for the next year but we are committed to helping our customers prosper amid the economic uncertainties.”