Booker profits up despite dip in revenues

WHOLESALER Booker Group, the owner of the Salford-based Makro business, has reported a small fall in its sales to £2.2bn for the six months ending September 11.

While revenue fell 1%, total pre-tax profits were up 10% to £74.1m withbasic earnings per share up 9% at 3.45p enabling an interim dividend of 0,57p per share – up 10%.

The company reported strong customer satisfaction and an 11% growth in internet sales to £461m as  Booker Direct, Ritter Courivaud, Classic and Chef Direct continued to make good progress.

Booker’s Acquisition of Budgens and Londis successfully completed and  Booker India is on track, the company said.

Meanwhile, the company completed the acquisition of Budgens and Londis on September 14 and overall, the Group’s trading in the first four weeks of the current half year is ahead of the same period last year.
“We anticipate that the challenging consumer and market environment will persist through the coming year and the UK’s food market remains very competitive,” it said.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “This was a solid performance and our plan to focus, drive and broaden the business remains on track.
“Despite the challenges in the UK grocery market we continue to improve choice, prices and service for our retail and catering customers.  We are delighted that Londis and Budgens have joined Booker and we look forward to growing with our customers.”