Farepak rival reports improvement in fortunes


Farepak rival reports improvement in fortunes
Park Group has reported a recovery in its fortunes after being hit by Christmas club savings provider Farepak's collapse.

The firm's first trading update since its move to trust status to improve customer protection shows orders for Christmas 2008 are up 17 per cent.

A statement from the Park board read: "It is very encouraging to report the expected recovery in customer confidence has materialised and that orders for Christmas 2008 are 17 per cent above the value achieved at the same date last year.

"In total the company has recruited around 38,000 new agents and customer numbers are increasing."

Park added the growth was in part due to a successful recent advertising campaign and a growth in web recruitment.

"Overall, the outlook for the business remains positive and the board expects to recommend an unchanged dividend for the full year," the statement concluded.

Park has also seen growth through the acquisition of Home Farm Hampers last year – bringing 13,000 customers.

Christmas club provider Farepak went into administration in October 2006 – hitting the festive plans for 120,000 people – and severely damaging the reputation of the industry as a whole.

Woolworths this month reported a fall in profits – in part due to a dramatic reduction in voucher sales attached to the failure of Farepak.

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