Sales in the Mail Order segment declined from Euro 117 million in 2003 to Euro 96.8 million last year, mainly due to a 22 percent decline in the number of photo prints from traditional film. The number of prints from digital images increased by 821 percent and reached four percent of the total volume. Sales in Spector’s Retail segment increased two percent to Euro 191.3 million. Despite the restructuring of the retail activities in Hungary, the operating result of the retail segment increased 13 percent versus 2003. The Photo hall retail chains in Belgium, Luxembourg and France, which represent about 80 percent of the segment’s turnover, experienced a seven percent sales increase in 2004 and an operating result that is approximately one third higher than in 2003.
The financial result was minus Euro 4.9 million, an improvement of Euro 0.7 million against 2003.
For the current year, Spector expects a significant increase in the digital part of its mailorder segment, but does not expect full compensation for the declin in film processing. The favorable trends in the retail segment are expected to continue in 2005, mainly driven by digital SLR cameras, camera-phones, navigations systems, MP3 players and flatscreen TV sets. The 2005 turnover of Spector’s Trade segment, which comprises all business-to-business activities of the group, is expected to be at least 20 percent above the 2004 figures this year, mainly due to the acquisition of Litho Color Lab.