Nisa sales up 26 per cent following Palmer and Harvey collapse - Q4 results

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 10 Apr 2018

Scunthorpe's delivered wholesaler and convenience retail specialist has posted strong fourth quarter results, with sales up more than 26 per cent.

It has been driven by huge growth in member numbers, with the total number of stores now served up 38 per cent to almost 5,000, from less than 3,500, on the back of the demise of competitor Palmer and Harvey.

Earnings are also in line with expectations.

The Waldo Way team said excellent new member recruitment, combined with investment in price, promotions, consumer leaflet development, and the further success of Nisa’s award-winning own label range, contributed to a strong trading period. 

However, the market continues to be as competitive as ever, and like-for-like sales over the period were down 1.1 per cent, although in the last six weeks to April 1 like for like sales improved and were up half a per cent. 

The healthy picture comes as The Co-operative Group awaits Competition and Markets Authority clearance on a £137.5 million deal to acquire the 41 year old business. Last week it posted healthy full-year results.

Arnu Misra, interim chief executive of Nisa Retail Ltd, commented: “Following a very strong Christmas period, our sales and recruitment numbers have continued to perform strongly, giving Nisa positive momentum as we enter our new financial year. I am also pleased to report that during a quarter of increased stores growth, we were able to generate cash without significantly impacting service to our existing members. Nevertheless, market conditions continue to be extremely challenging, and Nisa remains focused on ensuring its members are best placed to serve their customers and communities for the long term.”

Quarter four saw total sales of £377 million, up 26.1 per cent on 2017’s  £299 million.

A total of 1,115 new stores came on line, although the temporary role with McCall’s ended, with 264 retail outlets being taken on by The Co-op. What happens should the buy-out be cleared, remains to be seen. Outside of the Palmer and Harvey work, Nisa attracted a further 76 new stores in the final quarter of the year, “down from our normal performance, as prospective members await the outcome of the CMA process,” Mr Misra said.

The company’s sell-out expo gets underway at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, today, bringing members and suppliers together.

Mr Misra added: “As Nisa marks the 10th anniversary of its in-house charity, Making a Difference Locally, and awaits the CMA’s report on its prospective acquisition by The Co-op, the company will continue to focus on delivering an offer that will help its members drive footfall and profit in stores, while encouraging growth and sustainability for the Nisa business.”

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