Catering sales help Booker's revenues

Marion Dakers

WHOLESALER Booker this morning posted a 2.3 per cent rise in sales for its fourth quarter, and said profits for the year will be in line with expectations.

The cash and carry firm's sales for the year rose 3.5 per cent to £4bn, and like-for-likes were up 3.3 per cent. Online turnover was up 11 per cent to £704m.

Overall customer numbers rose five per cent to 504,000.

Sales to caterers jumped 6.2 per cent, which Shore Capital analyst Clive Black described as excellent, while a two per cent rise in sales to retailers “was a little more subdued but credible”, he added in a note.

Booker’s Makro business, which it bought last July and has not included in today's sales figures, is trading as expected. The Competition Commission is set to formally clear the purchase by 24 April, Booker said in its update.

"In a challenging environment, Booker has continued to grow non tobacco sales by 4.3 per cent through improving customer satisfaction,” said chief executive Charles Wilson.