Oct 13 (Reuters) - Booker Group Plc, Britain’s biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler, said tobacco sales for the 24 weeks to Sept. 9 were down 5.6 percent, hurt by a ban on small stores displaying tobacco products.
** The wholesaler, which now owns Budgens and Londis, said total sales for the period were up 13 percent to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.11 billion)
** Booker, which offers a range of grocery, tobacco, alcoholic products, said profit before tax for the period grew 9 percent to 81 million pounds.
** Sees challenging consumer and market environment persisting through the coming year.
** Internet sales jumped 10 percent to 506 million pounds
$1 = 0.8042 pounds Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair