The Booker Group has announced its trading performance for the 12 weeks to 28 March 2014. Total sales in the 12 weeks, including Makro, rose by 16.3% on the same period last year. Booker like-for-like total sales (excluding Makro) were 1.9% higher with non-tobacco like-for-like sales up 3.4%.
Booker Wholesale, the cash and carry division also had a good quarter. Customer numbers were up and sales were in line with expectations. Booker Direct, Ritter, Classic and Chef Direct also had a good quarter.
Total sales in the 52 weeks to 28 March 2014, including Makro, were £4.7b, up by 17.3% compared with last year.
Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, said: "This was a good quarter with non-tobacco like-for-likes up 3.4%. Our plans for bringing Booker and Makro together are on track and in this last quarter we have achieved our best ever customer satisfaction scores in Booker and Makro as we continue to improve the choice, prices and service to catering and small business customers in the UK."
Booker like-for-like total sales (excluding Makro) in the 52 weeks to 28 March 2014 were up by 2.1%. Like-for-like sales, including tobacco, to caterers rose by 7.1% and customer numbers, excluding Makro, increased by 5% to 529,000 with customer satisfaction improved and internet sales increased by 10% to £777m.
Mark Aylwin, managing director of Booker Direct, added: "Chef Direct has seen exceptional growth this quarter and with a strong pipeline in place, we are well positioned to deliver on our aim of creating the new force in foodservice. We are particularly pleased with Ritter-Courivaud and Ritter Fresh who have both delivered a great performance, through their unrelenting focus on sourcing the finest products for the UK's leading kitchens."
The group had around £150m net cash at the end of the year, compared with £77m a year ago. Profits for the 52 weeks to 28 March 2014 remain in line with expectations.