Voucher and Christmas savings specialists Park Group returned to profit and experienced a 49% jump in half-year sales as its corporate and Christmas savings businesses soared.

Revenue increased to £50.9m for the six months to September 30, from £34.2m the year before. The Group made a pre-tax profit of £0.5m compared to a £4m loss last year.

The first half profit is unusual for Park Group. It makes most of its money in the second half which includes the Christmas trading period, and is traditionally loss making in the first half.

Revenue from its corporate sales vouchers was up 51% year-on-year which the Group attributed to new innovations to better meet its customer needs. It has introduced a reloadable card for staff incentive schemes this year. A number of long term contracts were also won for its Love2shop gift voucher last October which contributed for the surge in sales.

Sales at Park’s Christmas savings business, the company’s budget plan which helps families prepare for Christmas, surged 37% to £5.8m as people became more cost-concious in the downturn.

Park Group managing director Chris Houghton said:”Our business has always done well in tough times as people prepare for the expensive Christmas period”.