RNS Number : 0725B
Park Group PLC
("Park" or the "Company")
Park (AIM: PKG.L), the UK's leading gift voucher and prepaid gift card provider, today announces a trading update for its financial year ended 31 March 2012. The Company will announce its Preliminary results on 12 June 2012.
The Company has maintained the significant progress reported in the first half. The investment in flexecash® our prepaid card system and the ongoing development of our web based business have created substantial opportunities, the results of which are now being reflected in sales volume.
Since launching the prepaid card in June 2010 we have issued more than £75 million of value, most of which has been incremental. We now have 47 leading retailers who already accept or have agreed to accept flexecash® cards. These include (among others): Argos, Boots, Debenhams, Iceland, Matalan and Marks & Spencer. During the year we have also launched mobile applications to improve customer service and will shortly be launching mobile and email delivery of our prepaid products. This will open new markets which have, until now, been difficult to penetrate.
The Christmas savings business also performed well. Christmas 2011 delivered sales volumes which were ahead by over 5% when compared with the prior year. Indications for Christmas 2012 are similarly encouraging with an increase in orders of approximately 6%. We successfully completed our first Christmas in Ireland, following the successful integration of the acquisition of October 2010, and our new Euro voucher has been well received there.
Innovation and product development have resulted in increased volume in our corporate markets. Love2reward, the corporate division, has increased billings volume by 15%, compared with the same period last year, demonstrating the success and opportunity presented by our new developments. The Euro voucher has also enabled us to market to corporate businesses in Ireland.
The strong performance of our businesses has resulted in record cash balances, which are currently some 21% (£11 million) ahead of the level a year ago. This will increase finance income and presents further potential for profit growth should interest rates return to more normal historic levels.
The board expects to report a strong financial performance for the year ended 31 March 2012.
Further to the recent announcement that Peter Johnson has become Non-Executive Chairman of the Company, Park also announces that Chris Houghton, currently Group Managing Director, will become Chief Executive Officer of the Group, effective immediately.
For further information please contact:
Park Group plc
Arden Partners plc
Tel: 0151 653 1700
Tel: 020 7614 5917
Tel: 020 7920 3150