Archive for October, 2013

Photo-Me Interim Statement – Promising start to the financial period

Photo-Me (PHTM.L), the instant service equipment group, issued its Interim Management Statement, which covers the period from 1 May 2013. This statement coincided with Photo-Me's AGM.

The Group reported that the year started well, helped by the recent formal launch of its laundry machines (branded Revolution) in France.
As anticipated, Group turnover is slightly lower year to date principally due to lower revenues in its Sales and Servicing division as well as an adverse translation in the revenue of its Japanese subsidiary due to a sharp decline of 18% in the yen against sterling compared with the same period last year.  Despite the lower turnover, profits for the Group are once again ahead,by over 10%, and in line with expectations.
The star performer was the European business, in particular Photomaton in France with profits significantly ahead of the same period last year, as the recently launched laundry business began to make a contribution. The European business also benefited from an increase in photobooth numbers of 7.5% year-on-year and the progressive rollout of its higher margin Starck photobooths.
UK profits were little changed year on year.  Asian profitability declined some 15% in sterling terms, however the underlying performance was strong and in local currency it was ahead by some 10%.   The Group’s Chinese operation, though still relatively small in the context of the Group, made good progress with turnover up by 30% and was only marginally loss-making because of the heavy investment in both R&D and new photobooths being made in that market.
Laundry division
The Group has commenced the expansion of its laundry division, with the addition of 52 machines (either operating or sold) in the 3-month period to 31 July resulting in a profit greater than £0.5m. Average EBITDA on an operated laundry unit continues to exceed 50% of turnover. 
 
The Group is anticipating an increasing contribution as the expansion of the division progresses, and as it reduces the cost of manufacture in future by increased sourcing from Eastern Europe. 
The Group’s net cash position remains little changed from the year end despite increased investment in the photobooth and laundry estate as well as the payment of the interim dividend in May 2013.
Overall, the Group has begun the year well and remains confident for the balance of the year, given the success in the Group’s laundry division to date and the planned expansion of this business, combined with growth in the Starck booth estate and lower anticipated photobooth manufacturing costs when outsourcing production to China in January 2014.
The Board will provide a further update on trading and outlook at the time of the Company's Interim announcement in December 2013.

HARMAN announces 2013 UK student photographic competition

The theme of this year's Harman Technology photo competition is Pride & Prejudice (A reflection on the world today) and it is open to students of any age who are undertaking a full or part-time course at a UK based school, college, or university.

Judges will be looking for images that as well as being technically excellent, provoke an emotional response and show an understanding of the brief.

As in previous years’ there will be two categories and students will be free to enter as many prints as they wish in one, or both categories.

Category 1 is for photographs from conventional ILFORD or Kentmere black and white film and printed by the student on either ILFORD or Kentmere traditional black and white darkroom papers. Category 2 is for inkjet prints from digital capture printed on HARMAN CRYSTALJET ELITE RC inkjet paper.

In each category there will be prizes for the winner and a runner up.

The winners’ prize will consist of:

* A certificate and title of either HARMAN technology Student Photographer of the year 2013 (digital) or ILFORD PHOTO Student Photographer of the year 2013 (darkroom)

* Winning image, professionally printed and framed

· £150 worth of product from www.HARMANexpress.com

The runner up in each category will receive £100 of product from www.HARMANexpress.com

Additionally, the college that submits the highest total number of eligible prints will receive £250 of product from www.HARMANexpress.com

The competition closes on 31st January 2014

Michelle Parr from HARMAN technology Education Liaison UK said, “We were thrilled to have such a positive response to last years competition so have followed the same recipe this year. We have a great relationship with a lot of college and universities throughout the UK and have used their comments and feedback to set the theme again this year.”

Full details of the competition including “The Brief”, Terms and Conditions, and Entry Forms, as well as posters, can be downloaded from www.harmantechnology.com/studentcomp2013

Details of all ILFORD black and white products can be found at www.ilfordphoto.com

Details of all HARMAN PHOTO inkjet products can be found at

www.harman-inkjet.com

 

Hasselblad launches its first-ever retail outlet

The company, famous for over half a century for its world-leading, technically advanced, medium format cameras for high-end professional and amateur photographers - and now with an additional portfolio of consumer cameras for photo-enthusiasts worldwide has opened for business in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku area on September 14.

The new store launch in Japan is the latest move in Hasselblad CEO Dr. Larry Hansen's extensive new investment programme aimed at making it easier for more people across the globe to own a Hasselblad camera. Dr. Hansen said before the launch: "This is a landmark day for us and to celebrate we will be throwing an all-day party at the new store.

"Our latest camera products, including our flagship H5D medium format series and our new and pioneering Lunar and Stellar consumer models, will be on show and, additionally, we have organised a superb exhibition of Norman Parkinson photographs in-store - to celebrate both our new launch and this great photographer's 100th anniversary."

The new store - a one-stop-shop of all things Hasselblad - is located adjacent to the Hasselblad Japan offices and close to a number of well-known retailers and trendy fashion boutiques.

William Penrice, Hasselblad Japan President said: "We are very excited about the growing interest in our products in Japan and this new store helps us to fulfil our promise to enable all fans of our brand to have a chance to own one of our outstanding cameras. Our exclusively designed Tokyo premises include a fully functioning photo-studio, a gallery and a creative space for photographers. We also have a unique display area showcasing the company's heritage products including examples of our classic V System and space cameras favoured by US astronauts."

He added: "This is the first time in our history that we will be providing direct sales in store as opposed to the standard commercial protocol with partners, distributors and dealers. This is why our new team in Tokyo comprises only specialists with extensive retail experience. This store launch is a brand new challenge for the company and we are all very excited and enthusiastic about its future. We want people to just drop by whenever they can and browse, not just our latest cameras, but also enjoy a snapshot of our heritage and history."