Park Group recorded a 12% increase in the amount it billed its customers in its half year to September 30.
The Christmas savings and voucher specialist billed customers £54.6m over the period and cut pre-tax losses to £4.1m from £4.4m last year.
The business is traditionally loss making in its first half as the bulk of revenue is generated in the second half as customers’ Christmas orders are made through a 45 week instalment plan with everything delivered for the big day.
However, Park Group chief executive Chris Houghton said Christmas orders in the first half were 5% up year-on-year. He also revealed sales were up for Christmas 2013, for which it kickstarted its advertising campaign in October.
Houghton admitted that the tough economic climes provided a boost to its Christmas savings business. He said: “I suppose in tough times it makes sense to prepare.”
The retailer has upped its Christmas savings agents to 122,000, compared to 114,000 last year.
Park Group’s corporate business, which includes providing vouchers as staff incentives, jumped 11% to £46.2m while its consumer business soared 24% to £8.5m.
Its pre-paid flexecash continued its “rapid sales growth” with £140m loaded on the cards since its launch in 2010. The amount loaded onto cards has soared 140% year-on-year. Park Group has launched new transactional sites to cater for smartphone and tablet users over the period.
Park Group non-executive chairman Peter Johnson said: “The strong performance of the first half is being maintained across the company with orders well ahead of the equivalent period last year.
The innovation, drive and enthusiasm within Park is delivering exciting new products and applications, none more so than flexecash, which is taking the company into product and customer areas which were previously closed to us.
“The combination of technological advances and marketing initiatives, together with the bedrock of our traditional business, gives us real confidence in the continued growth of Park.”