Sales at Photo-Me International have made a strong recovery after the lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions, helping it issue a special dividend to shareholders and sending its stock sharply higher.
Known for its photo booths used to take pictures approved for use on passports and other official documents, the company posted a 66% rise in profit before tax of £19.9 million for the six months to April 30. Revenue rose 22% to £115.3 million, as demand recovered more strongly than expected.
Trading returned to pre-pandemic levels in Continental Europe, the UK and the Republican Ireland, helping it forecast annual revenue growth of “at least 20%”. In Asia, trading remained “subdued” due to lingering travel restrictions.
The company, which also operates self-service laundry machines and instant pizza kiosks, announced plans to return £25 million to investors via a special dividend of 6.5p per share.
Jean-Marc Janailhac, executive director, told the Standard that Photo-Me was “in a position to to resist inflation trends”, helping it give “visibility to investors.”
He also said “We are not a retailer,” questioning the company’s official sector designation under the Industry Classification Benchmark system. “Despite our ICB classifications ... We are a concessions company, because we have long-term contacts. We have a very very important pricing power, we can absorb all inflation regarding the supply chain.”
Its shares rose 16% to 93p in morning trading in London on Tuesday.