Booker Group has still to reach a verdict on a 20-store trial in which Premier outlets are supplied through the Londis supply chain.

C-Store reported the trial at the time of the interim results in October when the wholesaler said the pilot supply service was expected to roll out to the rest of the estate from 2017 if it concluded successfully.

Booker reported last October that the first six weeks of the trial had led to a 50% increase in fresh food sales.

However Steve Fox, managing director, Booker Group – Retail, said this week the trial was continuing. “Once we have concluded this we will update you then,” he said.

Fox, commenting to questions from C-Store after the company reported its third-quarter update, said, the integration of Budgens and Londis was “on track”.

Booker reported group non-tobacco sales up 4.8% with non-tobacco like for likes up 5.1% in the 16 weeks to December 30.

Group tobacco sales fell 1.3% and tobacco like for likes fell 1%. Total group sales climbed 2.9% and like for likes climbed 3.2%.

Internet sales increased 10% to £33m, excluding Budgens and Londis.

Charlies Wilson, chief executive, said Booker continued to make good progress.

“Budgens and Londis are making a solid contribution to the Group. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.”

Fox said the Christmas retail performance had been “good” but added that the market was “challenging”.

The estate comprises more than 3,300 Premier stores, more than 1,900 Londis outlets and more than 190 Budgens.