Christmas savings and voucher specialist Park Group has posted year-on-year interim sales up 6% for the six months to September 30 and revealed orders for Christmas 2010 are “well ahead of last year at this stage”.
Revenues on continuing operations increased to £34.2m, compared with £32.3m last year, and Park Group narrowed its operating losses, before finance income and taxation, by 13% to £4.7m.
As a seasonal business Park Group’s first half of the year is traditionally loss-making, with the bulk of revenues generated in the second half. Vouchers can be redeemed at a host of high street retailers including Iceland, Debenhams, Argos and Boots. Clinton Cards, Birthdays and Boots Opticians have also recently joined the scheme.
The company said corporate voucher sales were up 5% year on year for the six months to September, and new business had soared more than 30%, while the online arm continued to grow strongly and now represents about a third of turnover.
Group managing director Chris Houghton said: “Our marketing campaign runs from the autumn to February, which was a period with a lot of bad economic news last year. Customers know more where they are now and so we are expecting a stronger Christmas 2010.”
He noted that corporate sales and voucher incentives had become a strong growth market for the group and he anticipated further growth in this sector for the remainder of the year.
He added that about 4% of online purchases were made by expats outside the UK and that the company was launching a trial to allow purchases using overseas credit cards in Australia and New Zealand.
If successful, this will be rolled out to countries such as Spain, Portugal, the US and Canada.