NISA Retail said it had enjoyed “strong” Christmas trading after it invested in festive promotions to boost sales.
Nisa, which is based in Scunthorpe, revealed that like-for-like sales increased by 2.2 per cent in the 10 weeks to January 1, while total sales rose by 2.7 per cent to £235.6m.
A spokesman said: “One key area driving growth is Nisa’s fresh produce range which registered a 17.7 per cent increase for the 10-week Christmas period. This was driven by Nisa’s ‘Festive 5’ offer, featuring five key heritage own label produce lines, which led the way on festive vegetable pricing, and underpins Nisa’s ambition to be the partner of choice for independent retailers.”
The business also enjoyed a significant improvement in profitability over the Christmas trading period.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation depreciation and amortisation) for the period was £718,000, compared with £520,000 in 2015 and a loss of £2.4m in 2014.
Nisa said this demonstrated continued progress in the turnaround of the business.
Nisa’s strong Christmas trading performance follows recent contract wins to supply to MRG (McColls), for the 298 stores that have recently been acquired from the Co-op.
Nick Read, the chief executive of Nisa Retail, said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to provide significantly greater investment in our promotions this Christmas to assist our members trading this festive period.
“We believe we have delivered a strong promotional mix to drive sales and footfall in our members’ stores. This has been possible due to the strong momentum the business has now built in its three-year strategy, which has seen Nisa invest in and improve operational efficiencies while also delivering a consistently improving financial position.”
Nisa is a member-owned organisation which helps independent retailers to remain competitive in the food and drink markets; sectors which are dominated by the large multiples.
Nisa aims to support its members by negotiating the best deals on products, to allow them to compete with the big names.
Nisa supports more than 1,300 local retailers and 3,000 stores across the UK, with some operating under the Nisa brand.
Nisa supplies the stock its members need, and also provides retail expertise that helps the members to grow their business.