Bottom Line: For export only

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BRITONS are apparently too dull too appreciate the potential of a new photo booth being developed by KIS, the French company acquired by the British booth manufacturer and operator, Photo-Me.

The booth enables you to choose your own pose. A video camera films you in the kiosk and you can freeze and unfreeze the filming until you find a suitably attractive likeness. You can then take a print off on ordinary photographic paper.

The technology also allows users to chose a number of different print options for the same price - one portrait print, four for passport type use, or even 16.

You can also transpose a picture of yourself next to King Kong, Princess Di or whichever celebrity's picture is held in the machine's memory bank.

According to Photo-Me, however, such frivolity is beyond the British. The new booths will be introduced in Continental Europe, specifically France, first. The competition is also much tougher outside the UK and the new technology will give Photo-Me a significant advantage.

If all goes to plan, Photo-Me will gradually replace all its 18,000 old-style booths. As well as providing a better service, the new machines promise to be cheaper to run.

Under its strategy the group will also recycle the ordinary machines for use in less developed countries.

The potential of the new booths has yet to show in KIS's profits, which means that the pounds 38m Photo-Me is paying owes more to prospects for growth than current profits. In the short term, however, earnings are likely to be diluted by as much as a sixth.

At 310p the stock is trading on a multiple of 21 times 1994 earnings and 19 times the forecast 1995 figure. But prospects further out mean Photo-Me deserves the premium rating.

Comments