GIANT wholesale firm Booker has seen the loss-making UK operations of Makro, which it bought last year, move into profit.
As the group released its annual results for the 12 months to 28 March, chief executive Charles Wilson confirmed that the Makro operation, which it has been integrating into the group, and which lost £18m in 2012, had recorded profits of £11m. The turnaround had come despite Makro sales decreasing by 9% as it exited some product categories.
Booker overall sales increased by 17% to £4.7bn, pre-tax profits were up 25% at £118.7m. Wilson expects the acquisition will increase the group’s ability to deliver to customers and as a result to grow web-based and other sales. With Makro it has the capacity to grow sales to £6bn, he said.
Retail sales director Steve Fox said sales to Premier symbol group retailers were up 12%. Like-for-like sales to retailers were down by 0.5% largely because of declines in tobacco sales. Non-tobacco like-for-likes were up 4.4%.