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Nisa today (June 30) reported a 2.6% fall in sales to £1.25bn in the year to April 2, although profits were up by £8.1m to £2.8m – a turnaround on the £5.4m loss reported in 2016.

Like-for-like sales at the mutually-owned retailer and wholesaler were down 1.5%, which Nisa attributed to ‘competitive pressure and price investment’, as well as the loss of the My Local convenience chain that went into administration last year.

Nisa, which has been the subject of speculation over a possible buy-out by Sainsbury’s in recent weeks, said the business was ‘well-placed’ to grow profitability for its members.

It added 515 new stores in the period, compared to 476 in the previous year, with growth…