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Photo-Me Returns To Black, Plans Photobooth Push

Posted On: 7/9/2010

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LONDON -- Photo-Me International this week outlined a strategy to reenergize its photobooth business as the company returned to profit and recovered from a recent £500,000 fine issued by a financial regulator.

The company reported a pretax profit of £9.3 million for the year ended April 30, compared with a loss of £5 million in the previous 12 months. It also said sales increased 5.7% and that £8 million of surplus cash at the yearend had replaced a net debt of £23.5 million.

Photo-Me reported that it was working to drive up revenues, including the rollout of Photobook Makers, which produce five-minute digital print albums, along with new "futuristic" photobooths that will have 3D capability.

Photo-Me's nonexecutive chairman, John Lewis, said the company is in a position to improve its core photobooth operation, which now consists of some 21,000 machines, primarily operated in the UK, France and Japan. He said Photo-Me plans to increase the number of locations in which it operates while improving performance and reducing costs for existing operations.

In addition to photobooths, the company runs digital printing kiosks, business equipment and kiddie rides, and is involved in the manufacture of the same machines it operates. Including photo vending, it services a total location base of 42,000.

The company was fined by the Financial Services Authority last month for reportedly allowing a false market to develop in its shares by not revealing negative trading information for 44 days in 2007. See story.