As part of this process, the Board looked into opportunities to dispose of PMI’s Vending Division and concluded last month that were was a sufficient level of interest from several potential buyers. According to a press release, these indicative offers have not translated into firm offers at an acceptable level, in part reflecting the current turbulence in the debt markets. As a result, the Board has now decided to terminate the Vending Division disposal process.
The PMI Board points out that it believes the Vending Division possesses considerable fundamental strengths, in particularly leading positions in key territories, technical expertise, an attractive market and a cash generative financial profile. According to a press release, the Vending Division has a track record of delivering a substantial annual contribution to the company’s results.
Under its new leadership, the Board will continue to examine other elements of the strategic review process, and a further update to the market will be given in due course. A further number of shares, worth £ 3.8 million, were purchased by the company during recent months to add to the £ 1.1 million in the period from March 30 to April 30, 2007.
In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, covering the period from May 1 to July 31, revenue of PMI’s Vending Division was marginally down in local currency terms in all principal territories: the UK and Ireland, France and Japan. In Sterling terms, the Japanese decrease was more substantial. Minilab manufacturing revenue decreased due to the overall market conditions, but prospects of the division will benefit from the recently announced contract with the largest retail pharmacy in the U.S. for the exclusive supply of minilabs for the third consecutive year. PMI’s wholesale lab manufacturing division, Imaging Solutions, Regensdorf, Switzerland, recorded a decrease in revenue due to shrinking demand and the introduction of a rival technology into the market. As PMI’s Vending Division in the UK and Ireland has to content with the triple challenges of a weak retail market, high site owner commissions and the unsettling effect of recent actual and scheduled Board resignations on both the business and staff, the outlook for the group remains substantially as set out in PMI’s preliminary announcement of July 2, 2007.
PMI emphasizes that the recruitment of the new Chief Executive Officer to succeed Serge Crasnianki, who will step down by November 30, 2007, is well under way, overseen by a commitee of the Board chaired by Roger Partington. One of the key priorities for the new CEO will be to define the future strategy of the Vending Division.