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Booker sees sales jump 3.8% in final few months of 2017; Tesco shareholders set to vote on takeover in February

The sales are probably the least important bit of news in today’s update, investors will be more interested in the timeline of the Tesco takeover
londis store
If Tesco shareholders vote in favour, Booker could be part of the supermarket chain by early March

Booker Group PLC (LON:BOK) enjoyed a solid finish to 2017 with sales nudging higher in the final few months of the year.

In the 16 weeks ended December 29 like-for-like sales rose 3.8%, driven by good growth in its Premier, Budgens and Londis convenience stores.

READ: Booker hopeful £3.7bn swoop by Tesco will be tied up early next year

Excluding tobacco, like-for-like sales actually grew 6.2%, reflecting the drag of cigarettes and the like on the business.

Last month, Booker started supplying to Shell and MRH-owned petrol stations, although that is unlikely to have had a major effect on sales given that it came late in the period.

Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), which had its £3.7bn takeover of Booker approved by regulators last month, said it would put the deal to a shareholder vote at the end of February.

Assuming investors vote in favour, the FTSE 100 supermarket expects to complete the acquisition in early March.

READ: Booker says Tesco takeover competition review is progressing as it reports quarterly sales growth

Booker Group had another good quarter with like-for-like non tobacco sales up 6.2%,” said chief executive Charles Wilson.

“We continue to Focus, Drive and Broaden our business to improve choice, prices and service for our customers.  The proposed merger with Tesco is progressing as planned.”

Shares fell 2.7% to 226.7p early on Thursday.

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