Park Group slashes half-year losses and reports a record cash balance of £217m

Wirral stock market-listed firm offers Christmas savings schemes, hampers and is reporting significant growth in its corporate rewards business. Tony McDonough reports.

Park Group offers customers the facility to save for Christmas
Park Group offers customers the facility to save for Christmas

Birkenhead Christmas savings and financial services firm Park Group is reporting record cash balances and narrowing half-year losses.

The stock market-listed company, which employs around 260 permanent staff in Wirral, said pre-tax losses for the six months to September 30 were £760,000 – down from £1.4m last year.

Customer orders came in at £98.3m, a rise of 5.9% on the same period last year. It’s cash balance peaked at a record £217m and the business is debt-free.

Park, which was founded by former Everton FC and Tranmere Rovers owner Peter Johnson, traditionally reports a loss in the half year given the seasonal nature of the business.

More than 85% of sales to consumers are dispatched and invoiced in the October to December period, principally from orders taken in the first few months of the calendar year.

During its peak period staff numbers in Birkenhead swell to almost 350.

Chief executive Chris Houghton told YBNews: “During the peak period we are handling millions and millions of pounds – rather than just millions.”

However, the firm is growing its presence in the corporate incentives business where it facilitates companies that want to offer products such as gift cards, vouchers and digital rewards to their staff and customers.

In October, Park completed the cash purchase of Fisher Moy International, a specialist in corporate employee and customer engagement products and programmes.

Although this side of the business also has seasonal peaks it may mean that in the years to come Park can continue to cut down its half-year loss.

On the latest results Mr Houghton added: “We are pleased with these latest figures and we feel that everything is going to plan.

“A lot of the work we have been doing is now coming through.”

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