Nisa Retail chief executive Nick Read has decided to step down from his position.

The board of Nisa has began planning for a replacement and will announce a decision “in the near future”.

Read joined Nisa in December 2014, and was tasked with stabilising and setting out the future direction for Nisa and its members. At the time of his appointment, Nisa announced an unexpected loss amid what the company described as “a degree of instability in the business”.

He said: “My time at Nisa has been both challenging and eventful, and I am proud of our collective success in turning the business round. The return to profitable growth was key to creating the confidence that enabled a sustainable business model for the benefit of all Nisa members. I am grateful for all the support I have received from colleagues and Members.”

In July 2016 Nisa reported an EBITDA of £7.3m, reversing the previous year’s loss, and in 2017, the company’s EBITDA rose to £8.6m, with a pre-tax profit of £2.8m. Following the proposed acquisition of Booker by Tesco, Nisa received a number of expressions of interest in the company, from Sainsbury’s and now Co-op. The Nisa board is continuing to engage in exclusive talks with the Co-operative Group.

Chairman of Nisa Peter Hartley said: “We are grateful to Nick for his leadership during a challenging period for Nisa and the wider convenience sector. Nick and his team have brought much needed stability to Nisa, and he will leave the business in a significantly improved financial position.”