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Trading statements

Booker sales up

06 July 2016 07:23

Food wholesaler Booker Group had another solid quarter, shareholder at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Chief executive Charles Wilson will say: "Group sales, including Budgens and Londis, rose by 10.0% on the same period last year. Booker Wholesale with Makro, our cash and carry business, had a good quarter for customer satisfaction and cash profit. Non tobacco sales reduced by 0.7% on a like-for-like basis. These sales were impacted by deflation in food prices and many customers reporting weak consumer demand during the period. Tobacco sales continued to be adversely impacted by the ban on small stores displaying tobacco products, down 7.7% like-for-like. Booker Direct, Chef Direct, Ritter and Booker India performed as we expected. Premier continues to grow and we made good progress with the integration of Budgens and Londis.

"Our balance sheet remains strong with a net cash position. As previously announced, we are today seeking shareholder approval to implement a capital return to shareholders of 3.20 pence per ordinary share at a cost of approximately £57m.

"Booker Group remains on course to meet expectations for the year ending 24 March 2017."

Wilson added: "Booker Group continues to make good progress. Our plans to Focus, Drive and Broaden Booker Group are on track. Budgens and Londis joined the Group last September and are making a solid contribution. We continue to enhance choice, price and service for our retail, catering and small business customers and look forward to growing with them in the year ahead."

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