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Wholesaler Booker's full-year profit jumps 33 percent
May 22, 2014 / 6:47 AM / 4 years ago

Wholesaler Booker's full-year profit jumps 33 percent

(Reuters) - Booker Group Plc, Britain’s biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler, reported a 33 percent rise in full-year profit helped by an increase in non-tobacco products sales to independent retailers and caterers.

Pretax profit rose to 122.1 million pounds in the 52 weeks to March 28 from 92.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Booker, which runs 172 branches supplying grocery, spirits, tobacco and non-food items to caterers, convenience stores, restaurants and pubs, said trading in the first seven weeks of the current financial year was ahead of last year.

Total sales for the year, including Makro, were 4.68 billion pounds, up by 17 percent compared to last year.

Booker’s year-ago sales did not include Makro, the UK business of German retailer Metro AG it acquired in 2012 to reach customers like small firms and hotels.

Unlike Booker, Makro sells non-food items, such as stationery, furniture, clothing and electrical appliances.

Analysts on average expected Booker’s full-year pretax profit at 118.3 million pounds, on a revenue of 4.67 billion pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Like-for-like sales (excluding Makro) were up 2.1 percent for the 52 weeks to March 28 from the previous year.

The company’s non-tobacco sales, which contributes over 60 percent to overall sales, rose 4.4 percent on a like-for-like basis, while tobacco sales fell 1.7 percent.

Booker raised its final dividend to 2.75 pence per share from 2.25 pence a year earlier.

Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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