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Trading statements

Booker like-for-like sales up

05 July 2017 07:17

Booker Group's first quarter sales rose by 4.0% on a year ago with like for likes up 4.2%, shareholders at the annual general meeting today will be told.

Chief executive Charles Wilson will say: "Non tobacco sales grew by 9.6% on a like-for-like basis.

"Favourable weather and the late Easter assisted this growth. Tobacco sales continued to be adversely impacted by changes in tobacco legislation, down 7.9% like-for-like.

"The Group had a solid quarter for customer satisfaction and cash profit. Booker Direct, Chef Direct, Ritter and Booker India performed as we expected. Premier continues to grow and we continue to make good progress with Budgens and Londis. "Our balance sheet remains strong with a net cash position.

"As previously announced, we are today seeking shareholder approval to pay a special dividend of 3.02 pence per ordinary share at a cost of approximately £54m.

"This is in addition to the final dividend of 4.97 pence per ordinary share which is also being proposed at the Annual General Meeting.

"On 27 January we announced the planned merger with Tesco and we are currently going through the review process with the Competition Authority.

"As a result of the proposed merger, we are in an offer period as defined in the Takeover Code and will not be making forward looking statements for the duration of the offer period."

Wilson added: "This was a good quarter. Our plans to Focus, Drive and Broaden the Group are on track.

"On 27 January we announced the planned merger with Tesco and we are going through the competition process.

"Meanwhile business as usual is going well as we continue to improve choice, prices and service for our retail, catering and small business customers."

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