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Dangers of non-smoking: Booker Group’s falling sales


Food wholesaler Booker Group announced a 10% spike in pre-tax profits for the 24 weeks to 11 September 2015, though overall sales slipped 1% to £2.2bn. 

Tobacco sales fell by 3.7%, largely due to a ban on small stores advertising tobacco products. Excluding tobacco, like-for-like sales grew by 0.6%, whilst internet sales climbed 11% to £461m. 

“This was a solid performance and our plan to focus, drive and broaden the business remains on track,” said CEO Charles Wilson. 

“Despite the challenges in the UK grocery market we continue to improve choice, prices and service for our retail and catering customers.” 

Booker Group completed the takeover of Budgens and Londis last month, and anticipated that the acquisition would reduce its full year operating profits by £3m, largely due to operating fees. Despite this, the company announced that trading in the first four weeks of the second interim of the year is “ahead of the same period last year” as a result of the takeover. 

“We are delighted that Londis and Budgens have joined Booker and we look forward to growing with our customers,” added Wilson. 

Published on Friday 16 October by Philip Gallagher

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