Booker pre-tax profits up 15%

Booker Group's pre-tax profits rose by 15% to £174.0m in the 52 weeks to 24 March.

Sales rose by 6.7% to £5.3bn with non tobacco sales up 8.7% and tobacco sales up 2.4%.

Like-for-like sales were up 0.5% with non tobacco sales up 2.8% and tobacco sales down by 4.6%.

The group has declared a final ordinary dividend of 4.97p per share, taking the total ordinary dividend to 5.60 pence per share and proposed a special dividend of 3.02 pence per share.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: "Booker Group had another good year. Our plan to Focus, Drive and Broaden the business remains on track.

"Customer satisfaction was strong and sales and profits were the best we have ever achieved.

"We are planning to merge with Tesco to create the UK's leading food business.

"This merger should deliver significant benefits for consumers, Booker customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.

"We are very grateful for the support of our customers, suppliers and everybody in the Group and look forward to making progress in the year ahead."