Sales hit ¬£100m mark at holiday park operator
Turnover has hit the £100m mark at Park Holidays UK during the holiday park operator's latest 15-month financial period.
The company, which was was acquired by Caledonia Investments in November 2013, operates 23 holiday parks across the South of England.
It reported turnover of £105.3m in the 15 months to 31 March 2014, a 26 per cent increase from £83.6m in the year ended 31 December 2012.
However, on a pro-rata basis, turnover grew from £83.6m to approximately £84.24m.
The company said the UK economic climate "remained difficult" but interest rates "remained low for the year".
It added that foreign exchange rates remained volatile and there was a "general lack of consumer confidence" which continued to have an adverse impact on the UK property sector.
Meanwhile, gross margin decreased to 55.2 per cent from 57.6 per cent.
Administrative and exceptional costs increased significantly by more than £10m during the period, causing pre-tax profits to fall from £15.8m to £14.5m.
A statement in the group's annual report said: "Holiday home ownership for UK residents has shown steady increases in recent years. The availability of Ô¨Ānance for the purchase of holiday homes improved during the period which resulted in a pro-rata increase in the number of customers funding their purchase through finance of 24 per cent.
"Growth in the holiday lettings business which is substantially transacted in the period from April to October on a like-for-like basis increased by only 0.5 per cent due to Easter 2013 falling in March."
The accounts also disclose that Park Holidays UK had an average headcount of 529 in 2013. The company employed 579 members of staff a year earlier.
Park Holidays UK is headquartered in Hastings. It operates site six sites in the South West, including parks in Dawlish, Paignton, Brixham and Christchurch. It also has parks in Hampshire, Kent, Sussex, Suffolk and Essex.