Boost for holiday park business

Holiday park chains group Bourne Leisure has revealed it paid dividends of more than £40 million last year, after profiting from Britain's "staycation" trend.

In its annual results filed at Companies House, the group - which owns holiday brands like Butlins and Haven Holidays - booked a 61% rise in pre-tax profits to £88 million, resulting in higher dividends compared with the £27 million offered in 2008.

The company said the positive result was due to many Britons opting out of a holiday abroad, and a low interest bill following a refinancing.

The firm, which is majority-owned by the Cook, Harris and Allen families, also revealed dividend payments of £19.7 million since the start of this year.

According to the group, the biggest area of growth for holidays was the South - Dorset, Sussex and Kent - followed by Blackpool and Cumbria, with the South West - Devon and Cornwall - still the most popular region overall.

The chain's Haven brand reported a 2.5% hike in bookings for camping and touring caravan holidays, with Wales being the most preferred destination.

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