Booker boosts sales by 12%, driven by catering performance

Booker achieved like-for-like sales growth of 12% to £8.68 billion in the 52 weeks ended 25 February 2023. Excluding tobacco, total Booker sales growth was 18.4%. Profit figures were not given for the wholesaler.

“Booker delivered its strongest year ever, helped by an outstanding catering performance as even more customers benefited from its unbeatable choice, price and service,” said Ken Murphy, chief executive of Booker owner Tesco.

Sales to caterers surged by 26.7% to £3.63 billion, while sales to retailers rose by 3.2% to £4.79 billion. Total Booker sales also included small business sales of £259 million.

Catering sales increased by 35.5% in the first half as Booker “lapped subdued demand due to pandemic-related restrictions in the prior year”, Murphy reported. In the second half, catering sales grew by 18.9% as Booker worked with hospitality customers to help them to offer “outstanding value whilst maintaining strong menu choice”. This included a price freeze on 450 key catering lines over the festive period.

“Booker’s specialist teams are doing a brilliant job of working with caterers to help them adapt their menus to offer great value to their customers while ensuring that they’re able to cope with the inflationary pressures they are facing,” said Murphy. “This has contributed to strong growth even against the backdrop of a declining market.”

In addition, the number of customers signing up to Booker’s ‘Food Clubs’ – such as its Fast Food Club – has risen, with 44,000 members now able to access exclusive deals and discounts.

The catering results comprised 29% growth to £1.52 billion by Best Food Logistics, whose managing director is Paul Whyte, and 25.2% growth to £2.11 billion by Booker Catering, which is headed up by managing director Stuart Hyslop.

Booker’s retail business saw sales increase by 9.9% excluding tobacco, “driven by strong customer retention, further expansion of the number of retail partners, and general market inflation.”

The wholesaler is serving 451 net new retail partners (made up of Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper fascias). As part of this growth, Booker celebrated its 4,000th Premier opening in September 2022.

“Our Jack’s product range is proving popular with our Booker retail partners, enabling them to offer their customers a great value own-brand alternative on over 500 lines,” added Murphy.

In the last financial year, retail tobacco sales declined by 5.6%, reflecting the market trend, as well as customers returning to overseas travel and an increase in duty-free imports.



Published Date: April 17, 2023

Category: Wholesale Industry News