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Booker Group PLC (BOK)

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Thursday 02 April, 2009

Booker Group PLC

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 9445P
Booker Group PLC
02 April 2009

                                                                2nd April 2009

Booker Group plc

Fourth Quarter Update

In the final quarter total sales rose by 6.4% on the same period last year, with total like-for-likes also up 6.4%. Non-tobacco like-for-likes rose by 10.2%while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 1.2%.  With extended choice, better service and competitive prices we have seen customer satisfaction improve and sales grow.

Total sales in the 52 weeks to 27th March 2009 were up by 3.3% and total like-for-likes up by 2.8%. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales rose by 5.7%, while like-for-like tobacco sales declined by 1.5%.  Net debt at the year end was around £25m compared to £47m a year ago and profits remain in line with management expectations.  The preliminary results will be announced on 28th May 2009.

Following a detailed review Booker has secured a site for a cash & carry in MumbaiIndia. We anticipate that the new site will be trading by the end of summer 2009.

Charles WilsonBooker Chief Executive, said:

'Booker continues to trade well, in spite of the economic environment.  Booker is helping more independent retail and catering customers save money.  With extended choice, better service and competitive prices we have seen customer satisfaction improve and sales grow.  We look forward to serving the stores, food stalls and restaurants of Mumbai.'

For further information contact:

Tulchan Communications (PR Adviser to Booker Group plc)

020 7353 4200

Susanna Voyle

Lucy Legh

Investec Bank plc (Nominated Adviser to Booker Group plc)

020 7597 5970

Keith Anderson

Notes to Editors:

Booker was established in 1830. We are the UK's largest supplier to small business with sales of £3.1bn supplying 412,000 independent businesses. Our customers include 72,000 'corner shop' retailers and 260,000 catering businesses. We have a network of 173 cash and carry branches. Of our sales, £2.5bn is collected by the customer from the branch and £0.6bn is delivered to their premises.

In the UK we supply 4,100 Indian restaurants and thousands of Indian owned businesses. A number of these customers have said that Booker would do well in India and we have responded to the challenge.  A team from Booker has been reviewing the Indian market for the past year and we look forward to serving the kirana stores, food stalls and restaurants of Mumbai.

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