Updates from Tate & Lyle and Booker Group
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We commence with a trading update from Tate & Lyle. No surprises for group adjusted profit before tax for the year ended 31 March 2014, at constant rates of exchange. Both volume and sales growth are claimed to be in line with the wider market.
Strong volume growth in emerging markets and Europe is partially offset by the US. "As expected, operating profit growth in this division has been held back by the more competitive market for SPLENDA® Sucralose," says Tate.
Within Bulk Ingredients, operating profit is expected to be lower as a result of the soft US beverage season, with reduced demand for liquid corn sweeteners and lower returns from co-products.
Next, food wholesaler Booker Group and trading update for the 12 weeks to 28 March 2014. Total sales in the 12 weeks, including Makro, rose 16.3% on the same period last year. Booker like-for-like total sales (excluding Makro) were 1.9% higher.
Booker Direct, Ritter, Classic and Chef Direct had a good quarter claims Booker while Makro's turnaround is "progressing well". Total sales in the 52 weeks to 28 March 2014, including Makro, were £4.7bn, up by 17.3%.
"This was a good quarter," says chief exec Charles Wilson, "with non tobacco like-for-likes up 3.4%. Our plans for bringing Booker and Makro together are on track."
We end with homewares retailer Dunelm Group. Total revenue for the third quarter is up 9.9% after four store openings in the period. These includes one relocation of an existing under-sized superstore and one superstore.
This takes total superstore openings in the financial year to date to ten. Growth in like for like sales for the quarter was 5.0%, "reflecting the absence of any snow disruption this year as well as ongoing investments."
The pipeline of legally committed new store opportunities now stands at eight; two are anticipated to open before the financial year-end. This takes the number of store openings for the full year to twelve says the company.