UK wholesaler Booker Group has booked an increase in revenue during 2012, led by gains from non-tobacco sales to caterers.

In the year to 29 March, booker said sales were up 3.5%, excluding the impact of its acquisition of Makro from Germany’s Metro Group. Like-for-like sales rose 3.3% and like-for-like non-tobacco sales increased 4.5%, the group said in its interim management statement today (4 April).

Sales to caterers were up 6.2% while sales to retailers were up just 2%. Booker continued to make in-roads into the catering sector during the year, including the launch last summer of an online sales channel, Chef Direct, specifically targeting catering customers.

The company added it is now in the “final stages” of obtaining regulatory approval for its acquisition of Metro Group’s UK wholesale business Makro. Booker reiterated its belief the combination of the two businesses would “improve choice, prices and service” for its customers.