Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 08:32 UK

Christmas savings club recovers

20 notes and some coins
Confidence in Christmas hamper schemes has returned, says Park

Christmas savings club Park Group has reported that its business has finally recovered after it was hit by the collapse of its rival Farepak in 2006.

The Birkenhead-based firm said that 2008 Christmas orders had increased by 17% in the year to 31 March.

It also said that it had employed 38,000 new agents to co-ordinate neighbourhood sales.

Confidence in Christmas hamper schemes was hit after Farepak failed, losing money for thousands of people.

A government review last year ruled that money kept in similar Christmas savings schemes would be kept in ring-fenced accounts, so that customers' money can be returned to them if the company goes bust.

"It is very encouraging to report that the expected recovery in customer confidence has materialised," said Park Group in a statement.

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