Booker slowed by caterers' cutbacks

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The Independent Online

Newsagents and caterers buying less stock in the first three months of this year saw sales growth at the cash and carry wholesaler Booker's slow. In the year to the third week of March, Booker's sales rose 7.3 per cent to £3.9bn, but over the past three months, that rate fell to 4.8 per cent.

The slowdown came despite Booker's customer numbers during the year growing by 5 per cent to 481,000 and internet sales rising by 21 per cent to £635m.

Booker said it had about £63m in cash at the end of the year, compared with £27m at the end of last year.