The group behind holiday park operator Parkdean Holidays has grown considerably over the last year, thanks to more Brits taking second and third holidays.
Newcastle-headquartered PD Parks Holdings Limited, which owns and manages 24 parks across the country under the Parkdean Holidays brand, saw operating profit rise 19.3% to £19.7m. Caravan, apartment and chalet hires as well as holidaymakers’ spending in shops, amusement arcades and concessions, drove turnover from £130.2m to £142.6m in the year to January 31, 2015.
Parkdean said it recruited 193 staff during the period to support the growth, which took the total, average UK-wide workforce to 2,028.
Earlier this year Parkdean said 2015 would be its biggest year to date for investment across its UK sites.
The firm has spent £13.2m, including £6.8m on the building of new holiday homes and lodges and £1.7m to rejuvenate existing accommodation.
Speaking to The Journal, John Waterworth, chief executive of Parkdean Holidays and a director of PD Parks Holdings Limited, said demand from young families and “empty nesters” was delivering strong trading.
He said: “We did very well last year on our holiday sales. Consumer confidence seems to be a lot stronger than it has been for a while.
“We’ve seen strong bookings performance right across the UK, which has continued into this year. The bank holiday weekend has been really successful and our direct bookings, at this point, are about 13% ahead of last year.
“There has certainly been a return to people taking second and third short breaks, when they tend to stay in the UK. Those sales are fed by young families and empty nesters, both growing demographics and groups that our parks are geared up for.”
He added: “The success has also been down to the people in our business. We’ve got a lot more experience and skills in the company and our workforce has been great.”
In addition to recent investments, Mr Waterworth said the firm had bought and refurbished a restaurant at its Pendine Sands park in South Wales.
Elsewhere in its accounts Parkdean said the holiday park market remained “robust” as at the beginning of April it had reached 60% of its hire revenue target for the year.
Parkdean Holidays formed in 1999 and is one of the UK’s largest holiday park operators, operating its head offices from premises in Gosforth. It is now majority owned by private equity firm Alchemy Partners LLP.
The firm operates 24 parks including eight in Cornwall, three in Devon, three in Dorset, one in Hampshire, one in Norfolk, two in Wales and six in Scotland.