Booker Group, the food wholesaler, has reported interim like-for-like sales up 2.7% on non-tobacco items.

Covering the 24 weeks ended 8 September 2017, Booker reported operating profit of £89.1m, up 9%.

The group said its catering sales had shown good progress, with like for like sales up 8.1%

The proposed merger with Tesco is undergoing a ‘Phase 2’ investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with provisional findings expected to be made public by the CMA by the end of this month.

It is expected that the merger will complete in early 2018, subject to shareholder approvals.

Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, said: “Booker Group continues to make good progress with like-for-like non tobacco sales up 7.7%. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden Booker Group are on track. The competition review of the planned merger with Tesco is progressing. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.”

Booker Group plc will announce its Q3 trading update for the 16 weeks to 29 December 2017 on 11 January 2018.