Nisa has delivered strong Christmas sales bolstered by aggressive expansion, demand for fresh food products and healthy like-for-like growth.

The convenience specialist and wholesaler said total sales jumped 17.7% to £277m in the 10 weeks to December 31, driven by 109 new store openings and two new short-term contracts to supply McColl’s and Costcutter shops.

Nisa, which is in the process of being acquired by The Co-op in a £143m deal, said like-for-likes increased 1.7% during the period.

Sales of its fresh ranges were up 23.1%, with pre-packed fruit and vegetables registering 38.1% and 38.6% spikes respectively.

Nisa’s interim boss Arnu Misra, who took the reins following the departure of former chief executive Nick Read last October, said the business had laid “a solid foundation” to build on in 2018.

He added: “We successfully invested in promotions to assist our members over the key festive trading period, resulting in positive like-for-likes and good organic growth in store numbers.

“Nisa has delivered a strong programme to help drive sales and footfall in our members’ stores.”