Instant service equipment group Photo-Me International (PHTM) sparks up 3% (4.25p) to 148p as it announces it will distribute a £7.5 million (2p a share) special dividend in May. The photobooths-to-digital printing kiosks operator also pleases with news it will use its enviably strong cash pile to accelerate the roll out of its new 'Revolution' laundry product as quickly as possible.
Armed with a bumper £68 million net cash at the end of October, the world's number one photobooths operator flagged the likelihood of further special distributions, as well as its commitment to 20% per annum ordinary dividend hikes for the two years to October 2015 and 2016, alongside record (10 Dec) half-year figures.
In today's special dividend missive, the cash-generative leisure goods leader and running Shares Play of the Week also provides an encouraging manufacturing update on its 'Revolution' branded laundry product. The £534 million cap, which shelled out a £10.9 million special dividend in early 2013, could comfortably fund a bigger special distribution. Yet Photo-Me reckons it can provide shareholders with a better return by deploying its capital to roll-out this heavy duty laundry unit, designed for washing and drying bigger laundry wares such as bedding and duvets, 'as quickly as possible' across France and Belgium followed by other European territories in due course.
Manufacturing of the product was successfully transferred from France to Hungary on schedule last month in a move to boost volumes and lower production costs and the first machines from Hungary will be delivered this month. Chief executive officer Serge Crasnianski has set a target of having 2,000 laundry units deployed by the end of calendar 2015 and highlights 'considerable demand' for the product, often sited outside supermarkets and whose competitive charging is chiming with consumers.