Preliminary Q4 trading update for the period ended 1 April 2018
Strong 4th Quarter Trading Performance
Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, 10 April 2018 - Nisa Retail, the delivered wholesaler and convenience retail specialist, is pleased to announce a positive Q4 trading period for the 13 weeks to 1 April 2018.
• Strong Q4 performance with total sales of £377m, +26.1% (Q4 2017: £299m)
• Sales driven by strong growth in member numbers with 1,115 new stores in Q4 2018, despite strong prior year comparison (Q4 2017: 225)
• Q4 2018 new stores net of losses was up 386% to 778 (Q4 2017: 160)
• Total number of retail sites served by Nisa in the year to 1 April 2018 was up 38.4% to 4,797 (FY 2017: 3,466)
• EBITDA growth in line with expectations
Notes: The financial figures are preliminary to audit
Nisa’s strong Q4 performance was significantly aided by a rapid increase in the number of new stores served in the quarter. 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%, although in the last 6 weeks to 1 April like for like sales improved to +0.5%. Against this backdrop, Nisa’s service capability helped recruit 1,039 new stores, as a result of the demise of Palmer & Harvey. Our core business attracted a further 76 new stores in the quarter, down from our normal performance, as prospective members await the outcome of the CMA process. The number of Q4 leavers was 337, or 73 excluding the expected departure of some McColl’s Retail Group stores.
In a market where cash is all important, it is pleasing to report that cash generation in the quarter was excellent, reflecting the continued and improving support from our suppliers.
As Nisa marks the 10th anniversary of its in-house charity, Making a Difference Locally (MADL), 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.
Arnu Misra, interim CEO of Nisa Retail Limited, 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.”