Increased investment in Christmas promotions has led to an improved festive period trading performance, wholesale and retail buying group Nisa said today (January 4); these have driven a 2.7% rise in total sales to £235.6m with volume also up 3.2% to 19.1 million cases.
The group says that one key area driving growth is Nisa’s fresh produce range which registered a 17.7% increase for the 10 week Christmas period. This was driven by Nisa’s Festive 5 offer, featuring five key Heritage own label produce lines.
The trading performance has also crystallised in new store wins, with 77 new openings in the ten weeks, compared to 54 last year, demonstrating the confidence new members have in the overall offer.
The business also enjoyed a significant improvement in profitability over the 10 week Christmas trading period to 1 January 2017. EBITDA for the period was £718,000, compared to £520,000 in 2015 and a loss of £2.4m in 2014, demonstrating continued progress in the turnaround of the business and remains on track to achieve the year end EBITDA forecast.
Nisa’s strong Christmas trading performance follows on from excellent recent contract wins for supply to MRG (McColls), for the 298 new stores they have recently acquired from Co-op, and Bourne Leisure for supply to their Butlins and Haven stores, contracts that will commence in the new year with the value and volume benefits enjoyed from quarter one commencing April 2017.
Nick Read, CEO Nisa Retail, commented: “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.”