At the Company’s Annual General Meeting held today at 12 noon Peter Johnson, Chairman of Park Group plc, made the following statement:
“In my statement in June, at the time of our results announcement for the year to 31 March 2009, I commented that trading in the current year had started steadily although finance income was being affected by the low interest rate environment. The AGM provides me with an opportunity to update our shareholders. As we approach the end of the first half and despite continued demanding trading conditions, those remarks still apply.
Our corporate voucher business, which in a full year generates around 60 per cent of group operating profit, is making good progress. Sales are some 8 per cent ahead of the same period last year boosted by a significant amount of new business. In addition, a number of major new contracts have been secured which will commence later in the year. Overall new business is up by 30 per cent year on year.
The Christmas savings business is holding up well despite the challenging market conditions as customers deal with the financial pressures imposed by the recession. This is a long established operation with a large and loyal customer base that appreciated the simplicity of saving each week for Christmas with Park’s instalment plan. Orders are currently around six per cent below last year, which is a creditable result given the current economic environment. The number of agents, however, has increased by six per cent over last year, which is positive for the future.
The internet continues to play an increasingly vital and fast growing role in our business with online sales having risen by 20 per cent this year. We are continuing to invest in Park’s online infrastructure to further improve customer service and operating efficiency as both are essential components of our product offering.
Park is committed to generating shareholder value and therefore I am pleased to report that, subject to the absence of unforeseen circumstances, we are well placed to deliver another sound trading performance and to continue our current policy of paying attractive dividends.”
For further information please contact:
|Park Group Plc||Arden Partners||Travistock Communications|
|Peter Johnson/Chris Hougthon||Fred Walsh/Jamie Cameron||John West/Andrew Dunn|
|Tel: 0151 653 1700||Tel: 020 7614 5928||Tel: 020 7920 3150|