Sales of digital cameras boost Jessops

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The Independent Online

Sales of digital cameras and accessories provided cheer for Jessops amid the general gloom of the retail sector yesterday, as the company reported maiden results. Underlying profitsfor the year to 30 September rose 16 per cent to £17.5m on sales of £319m.

Sales of digital cameras and accessories provided cheer for Jessops amid the general gloom of the retail sector yesterday, as the company reported maiden results. Underlying profitsfor the year to 30 September rose 16 per cent to £17.5m on sales of £319m.

Three-quarters of all cameras sold last year were digital, the company said. But the chief executive, Derek Hine, denied that the success of digital cameras could spell the end for retail photographic development services. "Going forward our biggest growth area is likely to be in shop printing," he said. "Due to material costs, we can print digitally taken photographs for about one-fifth of the price that home printing costs."

Mr Hine said he did not anticipate a slowdown in digital camera sales. With improvements in shutter speed and battery life, he said the number of UK households owning digital cameraswould rise significantly from the current 30 per cent.

Jessops has 262 stores in the UK and Ireland and has a target of 450. Rhys Williams, an analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: "It has very strong brand awareness. We believe it will continue to perform well due to demand for digital cameras."

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