Nisa has swung to full-year profit after improving own-label sales and tighter cost controls drove a “transformational year” for the business.

The convenience store chain posted an EBITDA of £7.3m for the 53 weeks ending April 3 following a £2.9m loss the prior year.

Underlying profit also crept back into the black at £600,000, marking a stark contrast to the £5.4m loss it suffered in the 52 weeks to March 29, 2015.

Nisa said the results put the business on “a more stable footing” after its strategic review bore fruit.

The symbol group slashed its overhead costs by 12.3% during the year and reduced the distribution cost per case by 3.2%.

Retail sales of £1.3bn were 1.9% lower than the previous year, but rose 2.3% when adjusting for the loss of Costcutter, which was previously Nisa’s single biggest member.

The c-store business hailed the performance of its fresh ranges and Heritage own-label products, which underwent a relaunch during the year.

On the up

Nisa said Heritage sales jumped 7.9% to £119m during the year off the back of its investment into the 800-line range, while fresh sales climbed 6% to £210m.

The retailer said it will focus on “growing the [Heritage] brand further” during its current financial year by “developing an improved pricing structure and promotional offer.”

Nisa said it recruited 476 new member stores during the year, taking its total to 2,915, while it also “reversed the downward trend in total sales” in a number of its businesses.

During the first 12 weeks of its new financial year, Nisa revealed that weekly sales have been tracking at an average of 3.5% higher year-on-year, as it bids to build momentum.

Nisa chief executive Nick Read said: “It has been a challenging, but ultimately pleasing, year for Nisa.

“The business experienced the biggest swing in profit in its 39-year history as we sought to stabilise the company, address historical issues and lay the foundations to return to profitable growth and build for it a sustainable business model.

“Nisa is now very much back on an upward curve…and we are extremely positive about our future.”