Booker has posted growth in sales but the performance of its new acquisition Makro remains challenging.
In its quarter two update, Booker wholesale reported a 4.3% year on year increase in total sales for the 12 weeks to September 14 and a 3.3% increase in the 12 weeks to September 14.
The group’s non-tobacco sales grew by 4.2% in the 24-week period while tobacco sales increased by 2% compared to the same period last year. In the 12-week period non-tobacco sales grew by 3.9% with tobacco sales increasing by 5.1%.
Booker also reported an increase in customers to its cash and carry division as well as improved customer satisfaction. The group’s net cash as of September 14 was £70m, compared to £59m in 2011.
The figures do not include the recently-purchased Makro sales, as the acquisition is yet to be cleared by the Office of Fair Trading. Until then Makro business will be kept separate from Booker and held as an investment by the group. According to Booker, progress since the purchase has been limited and “its performance continued to be challenging”.
Charles Wilson, Booker chief executive, was optimistic that Makro figures would improve. “Booker Wholesale and Booker Direct have had a good start to the year as we continue to improve choice, price and service,” he said. “We are confident that once we have clearance from the competition authorities, Booker and Makro will be able to improve choice, prices and service for the caterers, retailers and small business in the UK. Makro will prove a good addition to the Booker Group.”