Nisa Retail Limited this week announced that all resolutions put to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) were passed.
Peter Hartley has been appointed as independent non-executive chairman following the resignation of Christopher Baker on September 2. Peter joined the Nisa Board in December 2012 as an independent non-executive director and was appointed interim chairman in August 2016.
Nisa also elected two new member directors to the Board: Matthew Hunt and Sukhwinder Tiwana. They have “significant membership experience and have been in the retail sector for a substantial period”. Nisa’s member directors are elected every three years and play an important role representing the views and opinions of the membership.
At the AGM, chief executive Nick Read provided a positive trading update for the half year to October 2, 2016 (figures for week 26 are estimated). During this period Read said that Nisa continued to trade well, building on last year’s turnaround results, and reported improved H1 sales (excluding rebates) of £666m, up 1.1% on the comparable period. Nisa’s focus on fresh produce was well received, with sales up 21.9%.
Adjusted earnings were £4.2m in the first half, an improvement on the £3.3m reported in the same period last year, and pleasingly Nisa returned to profitable growth, delivering H1 profit before tax of £1m. The growth was achieved with a reduction in distribution costs per case of 0.7%, a 4.0% reduction in overhead costs, and despite a margin reduced to 10.6% from 10.7% last year.
Nisa welcomed 184 new member stores in the period under review and the Group also updated its members on the adoption of a three-year strategy to become the partner of choice for all wholesalers and independent retailers. This includes the launch of a number of key initiatives, including the further development of Nisa’s award-winning own brand range Heritage.
Read said: “Last year was a stabilisation period for Nisa and we are delighted that our momentum has continued into the new year, with the return to profitable growth a clear highlight in the first half of this year. We are confident that we can maintain this momentum and further strengthen Nisa’s position as the partner of choice for independent retailers. I am pleased to welcome Peter Hartley as our new Chairman, and the whole Board looks forward to working with all our members as we continue to progress Nisa for the benefit of the whole Nisa community.”