At its AGM yesterday, Nisa Retail announced the appointment of its new Chairman and revealed that its recent recovery in trading results was continuing.
Peter Hartley has been appointed as independent non-executive chairman following the resignation of Christopher Baker earlier this month. Hartley joined the Nisa Board in December 2012 as an independent non-executive director and was appointed interim chairman in August 2016. A chartered accountant with banking qualifications, the group said that Hartley has extensive retail sector experience at both strategic and operations levels having held a number of CEO as well as finance director roles.
Nisa also elected two new member directors to its Board, Matthew Hunt and Sukhwinder Tiwana.
At the AGM, Chief Executive Nick Read also delivered a positive trading update for the half year to 2 October. Building on last year’s turnaround results, the group said it had continued trade well with sales (excluding rebates) up 1.1% to £666m. Performance was boosted by Nisa’s focus on fresh produce where sales jumped 21.9%.
Meanwhile, the group’s adjusted earnings for the six month period were up from £3.3m to £4.2m. And after swinging back into profit during its last full financial year, Nisa returned to profitable growth in the half year, with a pre-tax profit of £1m. The group said that this growth was achieved with a reduction in distribution costs per case of 0.7%, a 4% reduction in overhead costs, and despite a margin reduced to 10.6% from 10.7% last year.
Nisa 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.
Nick Read, CEO of Nisa Retail, 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.”