Nisa has seen sales growth and a jump in membership amid its fourth-quarter trading update, but warned of “extremely challenging” market conditions.
In the 13 weeks to April 1, the convenience retail giant posted promising total sales of £377 million, rising 26 per cent year-on-year.
Despite this its like-for-like sales dipped 1.1 per cent over the same period, improving slightly during the latter six weeks where it rose 0.5 per cent. EBITDA growth is also understood to be in line with expectations.
The period also saw a rapid increase in new stores rising to 778 from 160 a year prior, while new members also jumped to 1115, up from 225 in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Co-op’s proposed takeover of the chain is still awaiting approval from the Competition Markets Authority, and this has meant that some prospective new members are holding off until the outcome is clear.
“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,” interim chief executive Arnu Misra said.
“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.”