UK wholesaler Booker has said it is on course to meet its full-year expectations after making a “good start” to its new financial year.

The wholesale retailer said total sales rose 1.7% in the 12 weeks to 22 June, with tobacco weighing on the result. Non-tobacco sales increased 3.9% in the period.

This reflects declining tobacco sales trends that have impacted one of Booker’s key customer segments – independent convenience stores. Booker – like the convenience sector itself – must look to grow new revenue streams in order to offset the ongoing decline of tobacco sales and a strong food offering will be key.

To this end, Booker has looked to increase its focus on the catering sector by developing a dedicated offering that specifically targets restaurants and caterers.

Earlier this year, it also acquired Makro, the UK wholesale arm of German retail giant Metro Group.

Click here for further comment from just-food on Booker’s sales trends

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