The Prize Bond Company has reported a 39% increase in net sales for 2007, its fiftieth year in business.

Last year the value of online sales grew by over 72%, and total sales mounted to a record €143.2m.

The value of prizes paid out during 2007 was €15.9m, up 15% on 2006.

The company is a joint venture between An Post and Kerry-based financial services firm Fexco.

Michael O'Keeffe, the company's chairman, said that a new prize structure introduced in September last to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary helped to boost sales.