Wholesalers

Booker’s hefty rise in Q2 sales

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Uptick: sales driven by caterers and small businesses
Uptick: sales driven by caterers and small businesses

Related tags: Bread, Business

The Booker Group has reported a 15.2% rise in total sales for the second quarter of the year, driven by a steady rise in catering and small business customers.

Group like-for-like (LFL) sales for the 12 weeks to 9 September (not including tobacco) rose by 15.5% at the food wholesaler, while Booker’s sales (not including Londis and Budgens) saw an uptick of 0.9% for the period.

Managing director of catering and small businesses Stuart Hyslop highlighted the success of the impact of a rise in sales within his category over the summer.

“Our caterers have enjoyed a better time of it and I’m delighted that, as the weather improved, our availability remained very strong,” he said.

Good progress made

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “Booker Group continues to make good progress with sales in the quarter up 15.2%. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden the group are on track.

“Budgens and Londis joined the group last September and are making a solid contribution.”

In May this year, Booker posted full year sales up 5% to £5bn for the 52 weeks to 25 March​, which was driven by the “continued development of the group”.

LFL sales to caterers were up 0.6% for the period with operating profit before tax up 11% to £115.1m. Internet sales also rose 12% to £979m.

Confidence and security

At the time Hyslop said: “Catering and small business has made good progress during the past 12 months through both our booker and Makro branches.

“For our independent caterers, where their demand has been unpredictable, the ‘Lock Down’ package is now three times bigger and will run for a minimum of 12 weeks, giving our customers confidence and security.”

Booker’s Chef’s Essentials frozen bread range was recently revamped, which included its burger buns, part-baked baguettes, brioche buns and mixed dinner rolls.

Wilson added that the business would continue to grow.

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