Booker posts profit jump and awaits clearance on Makro deal

 
Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Booker rose more than six per cent yesterday after the food wholesaler shrugged off the poor summer weather and reported better-than-expected profits.

The group,which runs over 170 branches supplying caterers, convenience stores, grocers, restaurants and pubs, said pre-tax profit rose to £51m in the 24 weeks to 14 September, up from £45m a year earlier. Revenues rose 3.3 per cent to about £1.9bn.

Total like-for-like sales grew 3.1 per cent, with comparable tobacco sales increasing 1.8 per cent.

The results exclude Makro, the loss-making UK business which Booker bought from German retailer Metro in July.

Makro will be held as a separate business until UK regulators give the go-ahead to the deal. Booker said that subject to clearance, the deal should give the group capacity to grow to being a £6bn turnover business.

“Together we are seeking to become the UK’s leading wholesaler to caterers, retailers and small and medium sized enterprises with a wide range of foods and non foods,” Booker said.