Park's hampers lift its profits by 33%

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The Independent Online
PARK Foods, the Christmas hamper company, expanded profits before tax by 33 per cent for the 12 months to 31 March, writes Robert Cole.

It made taxable profits of pounds 10.3m, up from pounds 7.7m in the previous period.

Park sells inexpensive hampers by instalments.

It benefited in 1992 from recession because it offered value for money and an easily affordable method of payment. Recession has also meant it has been easier to find sales agents.

Total turnover fell back slightly from pounds 119.5m to pounds 116m, but that was due to the sale of two frozen food companies in November 1991. Underlying sales grew by 7 per cent.

Peter Johnson, the chairman, said: 'Orders for next Christmas are comfortably ahead of last year with both agents' numbers and customer spend showing healthy increases.'

The total annual dividend was lifted by 87.5 per cent from 3.2p to 6p. The shares rose 5p to 242p, giving a yield before tax of 3.1 per cent.

Earnings per share rose in line with profits, to 13.3p against 10.2p previously.

Watson & Philip, supplier of food to supermarkets, made pre- tax profits of pounds 4m, down from pounds 4.1m despite an acquisition that added pounds 700,000 to trading profits. Earnings per share were 8.2p (8.1p) and the dividend is 4.4p against 4.2p.

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