Booker Group, the wholesaler which owns the Budgens, Londis and Premier brands, has reported non tobacco sales for the quarter ending December 29 rose by 5.9%, with non tobacco like-for-likes up 6.2%.

Group tobacco sales declined by 2.6% with tobacco like-for-likes down 2.1%. As a result, total sales were up 3.4% and like-for-likes were up 3.8%.

During the quarter Booker commenced supplying the Shell and MRH forecourt businesses after the collapse of their previous supplier Palmer and Harvey.

It also received approval from the Competitions and Markets Authority for its proposed takeover by Tesco.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “Booker Group had another good quarter with like-for-like non tobacco sales up 6.2%. 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. We are very grateful for the support we have received from customers, suppliers, shareholders and colleagues during this process.”

Steve Fox, managing director – retail, said: “We are pleased with our retail performance and we had a good Christmas. We worked hard with suppliers and maintain strong availability and remain committed to helping our customers ‘make more and save more’. It is a privilege to be serving Shell and MRH and I am confident we can continue to help our customers prosper.”