RNS Number : 5137F
Booker Group PLC
14 January 2010
14 January 2010
Booker Group plc
Quarter Three Interim Management Statement
In the 16 weeks to 1 January 2010 total and like-for-like sales rose by 6.7% on the same period last year (prior year: +2.7%). Non-tobacco like-for-likes rose by 6.0% (prior year: +5.0%), while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 7.9% (prior year: -0.9%).
Although the catering and retail markets had a competitive Christmas, Booker grew non-tobacco sales by 6.0% through improving choice, price and service. Customer numbers increased and the average spend per customer improved. Following improvements to the range, fresh departments did particularly well with fruit and vegetables up 59% and meat up 20%. Tobacco sales growth was partly due to UK consumers purchasing more UK duty paid tobacco and partly due to Booker increasing share in the UK wholesale market. Profits and net debt remain in line with management expectations.
Our performance in India is encouraging. Customer numbers and spend levels are good. There is a lot to do in Mumbai and there will be setbacks, however the customer response is excellent. We are increasingly confident that Booker can serve the Kirana stores, street traders, caterers and suppliers of India. We will provide an update on our operations in India with the full year results on 20 May 2010.
Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive said:
"Booker continues to make good progress, with both customer numbers and customer satisfaction improving further. As a result of our continued focus on choice, price and service, like-for-like sales increased by 6.7%. We look forward to continuing to help our customers compete in the months ahead."
For further information contact:
Tulchan Communications (PR Adviser to Booker Group plc)
020 7353 4200
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