Profit grows as like for likes fall

Display ban and poor weather hold back store sales

CEO Charles Wilson: “Profits best we have ever achieved.”
CEO Charles Wilson: “Profits best we have ever achieved.”
WHOLESALER and symbol group owner Booker has announced a rise in profits but a fall in like-for-like sales.
In its preliminary results for the year to 25 March 2016, pre-tax profits rose by 11% to £155.1m on total sales up 5% to £5bn.
However, like-for-like sales to retailers, including tobacco, fell by 2.2%.
The wholesaler blamed the fall on the impact of the tobacco display ban, bad weather and changes to the drink-drive threshold in Scotland.
The group’s trading in the first seven weeks of this year was reported to be ahead of last year, but Booker expects a challenging retail environment to persist throughout the year.
Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, said: “Our plan to focus, drive and broaden the business remains on track. Booker Group had a good year; customer satisfaction was strong, sales and profits were the best we have ever achieved.
“We made good progress on the integration of Budgens and Londis. We are very grateful for the support of our customers, suppliers and people and look forward to making progress in the year ahead.”
Steve Fox, managing director, Booker Group – retail, said: “Our retail business has had a good year. As our customers have grown, we have grown too. Customer satisfaction has improved and the integration of Londis and Budgens is on track. Although the outlook remains challenging, I’m looking forward to continuing to grow our customers’ business through increasing choice, lowering prices and improving our service.”