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Booker Group PLC (BOK)

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Wednesday 26 March, 2008

Booker Group PLC

Pre close trading update

Booker Group PLC
26 March 2008







                                                                 26th March 2008



                                Booker Group plc


                      Pre-close and Fourth Quarter Update



In the final quarter total sales, including Blueheath, are up +3.2% (versus
+1.3% in Q3). Non-tobacco like-for-likes are up +4.1% (versus +2.4% in Q3) while
like-for-like tobacco sales have declined by -5.0% (versus -7.9% in Q3).


Total sales in the 52 weeks to 28th March 2008 are up +2.3% on the same period
last year. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales are up +3.3% and like-for-like
tobacco sales have declined by -5.4% due to the ban on smoking in public places.
Sales and profits remain in line with management expectations. Net debt will be
around £50m compared to £76.5m a year ago.


In the interim statement released last October, we gave guidance that the
projected tax charge for the year would be 18.4%. This remains the case and we
expect to hold our effective rate of tax at around this level through to 2011.


The preliminary results will be announced on 22nd May 2008.


Charles Wilson, Chief Executive said,


'Booker is on track to deliver results in line with expectations, in spite of
the cooling in the economy and the impact of the smoking ban in public places.'





For further information contact:


Tulchan Communications (PR Adviser to Booker Group plc)

020 7353 4200

Susanna Voyle

Celia Gordon Shute


Investec Bank UK (Nominated Adviser to Booker Group plc)

020 7597 5970

Keith Anderson



                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange