Nisa had a good festive season, reporting a “significant” improvement in profitability over the 10 week trading period to 3rd January. Profit for the period was £520,000, compared to a loss of £2.4m in 2014. Volume growth over Christmas was 5.7%, while sales value rose 6.3% year on year to £254.3m, against a backdrop of sales deflation of 2.1%.
The stand out category performer was chill, growing by almost a quarter (23.8%) to £42.9m, further emphasising the importance of fresh and chill for the convenience sector. Confectionery, a firm seasonal favourite, also registered a sales increase of 12.8% to £17.1m in the 10 week period.
Nisa’s turnaround strategy, which started with the appointment of Nick Read as CEO in February 2015, has led to an improvement in profitability, driven by sales and volume growth, an enhanced trading margin, better distribution efficiencies and a successful reduction of fixed costs.
In October the business also secured a new two year banking facility, providing an increased level of finance to support the company’s growth plans.
Nisa’s Christmas trading performance adds to the recent positive momentum from the turnaround plan, and re-confirms Management’s full year EBITDA target of £7.2m.
Nick Read, CEO Nisa Retail, commented: “It is very pleasing to report improved trading, as many of our initiatives gain momentum. Last year the business made a loss during the Christmas period, so to register a profit of over half a million pounds, in a challenging marketplace and during a turnaround year for Nisa, is particularly gratifying. Our continued investment in a strong own brand range and competitive pricing has helped our independent retailer members to perform well through a key seasonal trading period,”