May 18, 2017 / 6:17 AM / 5 months ago

Tesco-target Booker sees profit rise 15 pct

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) - Booker, the British wholesaler that has agreed to a 3.7 billion pound ($4.8 billion) takeover by Tesco, on Thursday reported a 15 percent rise in annual profit, reflecting progress across the catering and retail supply sides of the business.

The group supplies the Budgens, Londis, Happy Shopper and Premier convenience chains, catering firms such as Wagamama and Carluccio‘s, and also operates cash and carry business Makro.

It said it made a pretax profit of 174 million pounds in the year to March 24. That compares to analysts’ average forecast of 173.3 million pounds, according to Reuters data.

“We are continuing to assist the UK competition authorities in their ongoing consideration of the merger and it is expected that the merger will complete in late 2017/early 2018, subject to, amongst other things, the necessary shareholder approvals,” it said.

Booker added that revenue in the first seven weeks of the current financial year is ahead of last year. ($1 = 0.7721 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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