Booker, the UK’s largest wholesaling and cash and carry group, has announced another very positive set of quarterly results with total sales (excluding Makro) in the 12 weeks to 14 September 2012 rose by 4.3% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were 3.9% higher, while tobacco sales were up by 5.1%. On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 4.4%, non-tobacco sales by 3.8% and tobacco sales by 5.4%.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing however. Booker acquired the ailing Makro business on the 4th July 4th and admits that the past 10 weeks have continued to be challenging for that business. Booker has notified the transaction to the OFT and the competition review process is ongoing and until this review is complete, Booker is required to hold the Makro business separate from Booker.
Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said: “Booker Wholesale and Booker Direct have had a good start to the year as we continue to improve choice, price and service. We are confident that once we have clearance from the competition authorities, Booker and Makro will be able to improve choice, prices and service for the caterers, retailers and small business in the UK. Makro will prove a good addition to the Booker Group”
Steve Fox, Sales Director – Retail, said: “The economy remains challenging and independent retailers are choosing the wholesaler who is delivering the best choice, price and service. This is why Booker is continuing to make good progress. Our value offering remains strong with additions to both our Euro Shopper and Happy Shopper range, which a minimum of 30% POR for retailers. Our disciplined retailers of Premier, Retail Club and Shop Local 2 Go have performed well with a market leading promotional package being a key element in this success. Shoppers will continue to value-conscious which is the reason we are committed to delivering outstanding value for independent retailers. I would like to thank then for their custom and look forward to serving them in the future.”