Booker sales “best we have ever achieved” ahead of Tesco merger

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Booker

The UK’s largest food wholesaler soon to merge with Tesco has reported a jump in full-year profits despite a drop in sales.

Pre-tax profits jumped 15 per cent to £174 million in the 52 weeks to March 24, while operating profit grew 14 per cent to £176.1 million.

Profits were in line with average analyst predictions of £173.3 million according to Reuters.

Total sales rose by 6.7 per cent to £5.3 billion but like-for-likes declined by 0.6 per cent.

Meanwhile online sales also showed promising signs, jumping nearly 10 per cent to £1.07 billion and increasing its customer base by nearly 80,000.

This comes ahead of a landmark deal with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket. Despite the merger proving controversial in the industry, Booker is confident it will be completed by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Booker says it’s “business as usual” as margins hit by plummeting tobacco sales

“We are continuing to assist the UK competition authorities in their ongoing consideration of the merger and it is expected that the merger will complete in late 2017/early 2018, subject to, amongst other things, the necessary shareholder approvals,” it said.

Chief executive Charles Wilson added: “Our plan to focus, drive and broaden the business remains on track.

“Customer satisfaction was strong and sales and profits were the best we have ever achieved.

“We are planning to merge with Tesco to create the UK’s leading food business. This merger should deliver significant benefits for consumers, Booker customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.

“We are very grateful for the support of our customers, suppliers and everybody in the Group and look forward to making progress in the year ahead.”

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