Costcutter Supermarkets Group has announced an 8.9% decline in annual turnover, although year-on-year growth returned in the second half of 2015.

EBITDA improved by around £10.5m for the financial year to 31 December 2015, while total turnover dropped from £776m in 2014 to £707m.

In a statement, parent company Bibby Line Group said sales were now growing month on month and Costcutter expected to “play a leading part in any future sector consolidation”.

Costcutter CEO Darcy Willson-Rymer said the group was “not satisfied” with the full year results, but encouraged by the performance in the second half of 2015.

“While our financial performance last year was significantly improved, our return to profitability was delayed by the delivery challenges that we faced during the first half of the year and the continued investments we made to support our retailers throughout 2015,” he said.

“While we are not satisfied with the results for 2015 we are encouraged by our performance through the second half of the year and are pleased to see this continuing to improve in the first quarter of 2016. Highlights for the year included a 30% sales uplift for Independent and three impressive award wins for Independent products.

“We are on track to return to normal levels of profitability with this steady improvement allowing us to improve and invest in our retail offer which is essential if we are all going to succeed in today’s challenging retail climate.”