Summer heatwave drives sales up at Booker

THE UK’s hottest summer in seven years helped to drive up sales at Booker Group over the past quarter.

The UK’s largest cash and carry wholesaler yesterday said like-for-like sales were up 3.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to

13 September.

Including sales from Makro, which Booker bought last year, sales surged 19.3 per cent.

“Our plans for bringing Booker and Makro together are on track,” chief executive Charles Wilson said.

The Makro business was loss making when Booker bought it from Germany’s Metro Group.

Booker was forced to operate Makro as a separate unit until the UK’s monopoly watchdog cleared the acquisition in April.

Following the results, analysts at Investec reiterated their buy rating on Booker.

“We expect continued progress from the core Booker business, and are looking for around eight per cent profit before tax progress in the first half,” Investec said.

Shares in Booker closed at 136.3p yesterday. They have risen 40 per cent on a year ago, valuing the business at almost £2.3bn.