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Photo-Me's profits soar as Japanese ID business booms

Upgrade of booths is France is also underway to meet new driving licence requirements
Photo-Me's profits soar as Japanese ID business booms
Photo-Me is going like a train in Japan

-- adds share price, broker comment, detail--

Strong trading in Japan and from its new automated laundries in Europe sent profits at Photo-Me (LON:PHTM) jumping in its latest quarter.

Japan is introducing new photo-ID cards and a strong start to the "My Number" programme helped third quarter turnover rise by 11%.

Profits in the three months to January increased by 90% compared to the same period a year ago and for the year to April will now be in excess of £40mln.

If the Japanese business continues the strong performance throughout the final quarter, the eventual outturn will exceed this said the company.

In addition, Photo-Me has started to upgrade its 22,000 photo booths to include next generation security measures such as biometrics and 3D.

France will see the first of the new booths as French subsidiary Photomaton has received approval from ANTS (France’s National Agency of Secure Documents) for a digitised e-photo and signature that is compliant with a new format of driving licence.

The new licence incorporates holographic design and a machine readable zone with the document sent from the sent from the photobooths via a secure server.

Photo-Me has 7,800 photobooths in France and these will be upgraded and connected to a new secure system.

 Paris and the Ile-de-France will be the first areas upgrade with 2,000 machines finished  by the end of June and the full roll-out by the end of the year.

Work is also underway on similar projects in Germany, Switzerland and China.

Serge Crasnianski, chief executive, said: "The overall performance of the business continues to be very good and we are obviously pleased that the ‘My Number’ programme in Japan has got off to such a strong start.

“We have already begun to work with a number of Governments to deliver improved ID capture incorporating biometry and are very excited to be announcing this major new initiative in France".

Gabriel Pirona, finance director, added the My Number project in Japan only started in January and there was potentially three years of consistent growth. Currently, the company has around a 40% share of the market for booths in Japan. 

Broker finncap upped its price target to 185p from 170p on the back of the statement, which it said has led to it upgrading its profit forecasts for this year by 9% and 10% for 2017.

This allows for nothing for the new initiative in France, it added.

Shares were unchanged at 169.9p. 

 

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