By Daniel Hunter

Business to business (B2B) gift card and voucher sales in the first quarter of 2013 contributed to the impressive 4.6% growth experienced across the industry in the same quarter, according to the latest statistics from The UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA).

The report, compiled independently by consultants at Ernst & Young, shows that like-for-like corporate sales of gift cards and vouchers were up by 4.7% over the period of January-March 2013.

Strong growth was witnessed across all types of B2B gift card sales, with growth of closed loop gift cards entirely driven by corporate sales in this quarter — growing by 19% - and B2B sales of restricted loop gift cards up by almost 57%. Restricted Loop gift cards, only accepted in a pre-set selection of shops, now represents one of the most dynamic types of gift card across the entire market.

“With strong growth yet again witnessed from the corporate sector, we don’t expect corporate investment to slow down anytime soon as more and more companies see the benefits of using vouchers as part of customer incentive or employee reward schemes," Andrew Johnson, director-general of the UKGCVA, commented.

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