For Immediate Release
4 June 2010
Booker Group plc ('Booker' or 'the Group')
Annual Report and Accounts
Notice of Annual General Meeting
Booker Group plc has today issued to its shareholders, its Annual Report and Accounts for the Group for the year ended 26 March 2010, along with Notice of Annual General Meeting ('AGM') and proxy forms to shareholders. The AGM will be held at Booker Branch St Pancras, 106 Camley Street, Elm Village, Camden, London, NW1 0PF on 7 July 2010 at 11 a.m.
Copies of the Notice of AGM, associated proxy forms and the Annual Report and Accounts for the Group for the year ended 26 March 2010 are available on its website www.bookergroup.com.
In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.1, Booker has today submitted to the UK Listing Authority two copies of each of the following documents:
(a) Annual Report and Accounts;
(b) Notice of AGM and ancillary documents;
(c) Proxy form to shareholders; and
(d) Shareholder communications election form.
Copies of the above documents will be available for inspection at the UK Listing Authority's Document Viewing Facility which is situated at:
Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
The Notice of the AGM includes a resolution to adopt new articles of association. A summary of the principal changes proposed to the existing articles of association is given in the explanatory notes to the Notice of AGM. The full text of the new articles has been forwarded to the Financial Services Authority in accordance with Disclosure and Transparency Rule (DTR) 6.1.2 and can be inspected at the above address.
The Group announced its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 26 March 2010 on 20 May 2010. The Group today provides the following additional regulated information, in relation to the Annual Report and Accounts, in full unedited text as required to be made public under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules. This announcement should be read together with the preliminary results announcement.
A condensed set of financial statements were attached to the Group's preliminary results announcement which included an indication of important events that occurred during the year. The Annual Report and Accounts also contains information regarding the Group's principal risks and uncertainties and a responsibility statement relating to its content; an extract of this information is provided below as is required under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Risks and Uncertainties
The list below sets out the most significant risks to the achievement of the Group's business goals. The list does not include all risks that the Group faces and it does not list the risks in any order of priority.
The economy is expected to remain difficult in the year ahead with potential tax rises and the public reducing their levels of discretionary spend. Customers will seek to obtain "best" value from products and the Group aims to provide a wide range of products that meet this requirement.
The industry is extremely competitive with the market being served by numerous competitors, ranging from national multiple retailers to regional independent wholesalers. The Group competes by closely monitoring the activities of competitors and ensuring it continues to improve the choice, price and service to its customers.
The Group operates in an environment governed by strict regulations to ensure the safety and protection of customers, shareholders, staff and other stakeholders and the operation of an open and competitive market. These regulations include food hygiene, health and safety, data protection, the rules of the London Stock Exchange and competition law. In all cases, the Board takes its responsibilities very seriously, and recognises that any breach of regulation could cause reputational and financial damage to the Group.
Product quality and safety
The quality and safety of our products is of critical importance and any failure in this regard would affect the confidence of our customers in us. We work with our suppliers to ensure the integrity of the products supplied. Food hygiene practices are taken very seriously throughout the Group, and are monitored both through internal audit procedures and by external bodies such as environmental health departments. We have well prepared procedures for crisis management in order to act quickly when required. We are aware that if we fail or are perceived to have failed to deliver, to our customers' satisfaction, the expected standards of quality and safety in our products this has the potential to impact on their loyalty to us. This in turn could adversely impact on our market share and our financial results.
Employee engagement and retention
The continued success of the Group relies heavily on the investment in the training and development of our employees. The Group's employment policies, remuneration and benefits packages are designed to be competitive, as well as providing colleagues with fulfilling career opportunities. The Group continually engages with colleagues across the business to ensure that we keep strengthening our team at every level.
Availability of supplier credit is essential for the Group's financial performance. Any reduction in the availability of supplier credit could adversely impact the Group. The Group regularly meet key credit insurers to ensure that they have an up to date view of the Group's financial position.
Financial and treasury
The Group's financial results may be subject to volatility arising from movements in commodity prices, foreign currencies, interest rates and the availability of sources of funding. See note 16 to the Annual Report and Accounts.
The Group operates a defined benefit scheme, where judgements are required to determine the assumptions for future salary and pension increases, discount rate, inflation, investment returns and member longevity. There is a risk of underestimating this liability. This risk is mitigated by: maintaining a relatively strong funding position over time, taking advice from independent qualified actuaries, agreeing appropriate investment policies with the Trustees and closely monitoring the funding position with the Trustees. [See note 18 of the Annual Report and Accounts.]
Information technology (IT)
The Group is exposed to the risk that the IT systems upon which it relies fail. The Group has appropriate controls in place to mitigate the risk of systems failure, including systems back up procedures and disaster recovery plans, and also has appropriate virus protection and network security controls.
Directors' responsibility statement
The directors, as at the date of the Annual Report and Accounts, confirm that to the best of their knowledge:
§ the group and parent company financial statements, prepared in accordance with the applicable set of accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole; and
§ the Directors' Report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the issuer and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.
Related party transactions
During the year, there were no related party transactions requiring disclosure.
For more information contact:
Tulchan Communications (PR Adviser to Booker Group plc)
020 7353 4200