RNS Number : 4079V
Booker Group PLC
12 January 2012
12 January 2012
Booker Group plc
Quarter Three Interim Management Statement
Booker, the UK's leading food wholesaler, is pleased to announce its trading performance for the 16 weeks to 30 December 2011. Total sales in the quarter rose by 7.0% on the same period last year. Non-tobacco sales were 6.7% higher, while tobacco sales rose by 7.6%. On a like-for-like basis total sales rose by 6.5%, non-tobacco sales rose by 5.8% and tobacco sales by 7.6%. Customer numbers and the average spend per customer improved. Fresh departments performed well with fruit and vegetable sales up 17%.
To accelerate our growth into the foodservice market, Booker is pleased to announce the creation of "Chef Direct". Chef Direct will serve major foodservice customers from a state-of-the art distribution centre in Didcot. Chef Direct will combine Booker's scale and logistics capabilities with Ritter-Courivaud's expertise in catering and speciality foods. The Didcot operation is currently being fitted out, and Chef Direct will start trading in June 2012.
Expansion in India continues with the opening of our second and third branches in Mumbai in early 2012.
The outlook for profits and net cash for the year remains in line with expectations.
Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said:
"Amid the challenging economic environment Booker continues to improve choice, prices and service for our customers. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden the Group are on track and we are pleased to be developing Chef Direct to serve major foodservice customers."
For further information contact:
Tulchan Communications (PR adviser to Booker Group plc)
020 7353 4200
· Sales are stated net of value added tax
· Ritter-Courivaud is a speciality fine foods supplier to leading restaurants, hotels and contract caterers acquired in October 2010
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