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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Staff rewarded with Spanish break
Durham Pine furniture
There are now 69 Durham Pine stores across the UK
A furniture company chairman is thanking his staff for bumper profits by giving more than 100 workers a free holiday.

Durham Pine chairman John Marshall is forking out 200,000 so 119 workers can take their families to Majorca for a week.

Each worker can take another adult and two children on one of two week-long trips in recognition of the Sunderland-based company's increased turnover.

Mr Marshall said the holidays were to thank his dedicated staff after turnover at the Sunderland-based rose to around 65 million.

He said: "Back when we were a smaller company we were very close knit, and I'd like to get that community feeling back.

"This is just a way of thanking all involved for their hard work."

Restoring furniture

Mr Marshall, from South Tyneside, used to work as a shepherd, then became a gardener.

He then turned to selling American vacuum cleaners and soon had his own sales team.

In 1984, he opened a second-hand furniture store in Durham and two more quickly followed as he began restoring old furniture.

A store franchise programme followed in the 1990s.

Durham Pine now has 68 stores across the UK from Inverness to Exeter and expansion continues with further stores - both company owned and franchised - opening throughout 2003.

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