Cash'n'carry sales surge
economy: Cash-and-carry giant Booker has reported buoyant sales as it backed its acquisition of rival Makro to come good despite tough trading.
Booker, which has 172 branches and supplies almost half-a-million businesses, including corner shops, pubs and restaurants, said underlying sales increased 4.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to September 14.
This was up from 1.7 per cent in the previous quarter, driven by strong growth in tobacco sales and good performance from its cash-and-carry and delivery arms.
But the Makro wholesale business it bought in July has found trading challenging over the past ten weeks.
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German-owned Makro UK, was bought by Booker in a cash-and-shares deal valued at £139.7 million but it is being held as an investment until cleared by the Office of Fair Trading.
Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said: "We are confident that once we have clearance from the competition authorities, Booker and Makro will improve choice, prices and service for UK caterers, retailers and small businesses."