Happier Christmas on the cards for Park as sales rise
Dec 18, 2012 (Menafn - London Evening Standard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Cautious consumers have loosened their belts a notch for the festive season this year, Christmas savings group Park said today.
The company, which sells vouchers usable in High Street retailers including Marks & Spencer, Argos and Iceland as well as traditional Christmas hampers, has seen orders rise 5 percent on last year in the run-up to the big day. Average orders are up from pounds sterling 416 to pounds sterling 430 this year while the number of customers has also risen, to 423,000 from 415,000 last year.
Park, chaired by former Everton owner and 30 percent shareholder Peter Johnson, is traditionally loss-making in its first half. The stronger showing meant the group cut its losses from pounds sterling 4.4 million to pounds sterling 4.1 million in the six months to September 30.
Johnson said: "While the economic background remains challenging for most sectors, it is particularly encouraging that Park has maintained its growth record over the past few difficult years."
The company is also pinning its hopes on its flexecard offering, which allows customers to load up cash onto pre-paid cards that can also be used on the High Street. The total loaded onto them since launch is more than pounds sterling 140 million.
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