(Adds analyst comment, shares)
Oct 13 (Reuters) - Booker Group Plc, Britain’s biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler, posted a 13 percent jump in total sales for the 24 weeks ended Sept. 9, driven by its online business.
** Sales at Booker.co.uk, its online business, rose 10 percent to 506 million pounds($629 million).
** The company’s shares rose as much as 5 percent to 184.5 pence, making them the top gainers on FTSE Mid Cap index.
** The wholesaler, which owns Budgens and Londis grocery chains, said total sales for the period were up 13 percent to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion).
** Tobacco sales fell 5.6 percent, hurt by a ban on small stores displaying tobacco products.
** Booker, which offers a range of grocery, tobacco, alcoholic products, said profit before tax rose 9 percent to 81 million pounds.
** “The results should demonstrate the strong business model, attractive cash flow and further growth opportunities,” Peel Hunt analysts said, adding they expected sales to accelerate.
$1 = 0.80 pounds Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Anil D'Silva