Booker first-quarter sales up by 6.1% overall but catering sales down by 32%

In the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, Booker’s sales increased by 6.1%, including a 0.5% sales contribution from Best Food Logistics, which was acquired in early March.

Booker’s retail business grew by 23.5% but this was ‘partially offset’ by a significant reduction in Booker’s catering business, with sales falling by 32.1%.

By sector, Booker’s sales dropped by 63% to pubs, 53% to restaurants, 32% to fast-food outlets, and 3% to cost-sector caterers such as workplace canteens, nursing homes, schools, prisons and hospitals.

During the same period, Best Food Logistics’ sales declined by 70% but have improved recently to 50% down as customers reopen for business.

“In catering, we are already starting to see our competitive position strengthen and expect to exit the crisis with market share well beyond original levels,” said Dave Lewis, chief executive of parent company Tesco.

He added: “Booker has provided invaluable support to our grocery online business, including by providing more than 100,000 additional click and collect slots and directly supplying nearly 18,000 deliveries to over 1,000 care homes.”

Lewis also said that some Booker catering products were put into retail, and Tesco used Booker lorries and staff for deliveries.

Booker estimates that it increased market share in ‘all areas’ during the COVID-19 crisis: its share of total wholesale is reported to have risen from 14% to 23%; of catering, from 8% to 19%; and of retail, from 24% to 25%.

Tel: Booker (01933) 371000

Published Date: June 26, 2020
Category: Wholesale Industry News