City File: No hard times

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SHAREHOLDERS in Betterware, the door-to-door seller of household necessities, have good news coming their way.

Betterware has done well out of recession because it provides cheap goods - the average customer spend has risen from pounds 7 to pounds 8. More crucially, recession, and high unemployment mean a greater pool of labour from which to recruit sales agents. Andrew Cohen, chief executive, will tell tomorrow's annual shareholder meeting that the number has risen by 20 per cent to 9,000 since March year end.

Betterware shares have outperformed the FT All-Share index by 500 per cent over the past two years to close on Friday at 310p. As long as the recession persists, Betterware will be in favour. It has yet to prove it can thrive in happier times.