UK wholesaler Booker Group has reported a jump in first-half sales, which were boosted by the contribution from Makro and like-for-like growth.

The company said total sales in the half to 13 September rose by 16.5% year-on-year.

Gains were driven by the inclusion of sales generated at Makro, which was formally purchased from German retail giant Metro Group in a deal worth GBP139.7m (US$224.5m) earlier this year. 

Booker said it is making progress turning around the struggling Makro chain, with the fall in non-tobacco sales decelerating as the year progressed. Sales dropped 1.9% in the half, but sales were down just 0.6% in the second quarter. Integration is “on track”, Booker said.

Like-for-like sales, excluding Makro revenues, increased by 2.3%. Booker said both its Booker Wholesale arm and its Booker Direct delivery business had “good” halves, with warm summer weather proving a boon for Booker’s retail customers.

Booker added it pushed ahead with its plans to expand in India. It opened two new outlets in the period, bringing the number of wholesale branches to six.

Booker will deliver its interim results on 17 October.