Christmas voucher specialist Park Group said rising consumer confidence helped sales soar 21% to £58.5m in the six months to September 30.

The company also provides a billings measure – essentially the amount of money loaded onto a card or voucher but not yet spent - which it said increased by 28.1% to £75.4m in the period.

Park Group is traditionally loss-making in its first half because the bulk of its sales are generated in the second half as customers’ Christmas orders are made through a 45-week instalment plan with goods delivered in time for Christmas. The company said seasonal pre-tax losses narrowed to £2.4m from £2.8m.

Park Group chief executive Chris Houghton said: “Growth has come from a few areas - what we’ve seen on the consumer side is a lifting in consumer confidence, we’ve been developing our product range and advertising more effectively and we’ve brought more of our offer online. On the corporate side we’ve developed our ecommerce capabilities and developed our product range.”

Houghton said the company was also benefiting from attracting a younger customer base, which he put down to Park Group’s increased use of online and the impact of its TV ads.  

He added that the AIM-listed company’s campaign for Christmas 2015 had started well and at this stage customer numbers are ahead of the comparable time last year.