According to a company press release, the good figures for July and August and the preliminary sales figures for the month of September 1999 confirm the positive trend compared with 1997 and 1998. For the first eight months of the year, total sales increased by 5.4% to Euro 464.8 million with an operating result of Euro 19.9 million, 243% more than in the same period last year. The operating cash flow increased by 41.2% to Euro 47.9 million, the free cash flow reached Euro 17.5 million after a negative figure of Euro 12.6 million last year. While the performance of the wholesale photofinishing division (including Racine and Bilderland) in the last four months will have little effect on the company‘s results for the full year, the retail division will have an important impact because 20% of the turnover and 40% of the operating profit in the retail division are traditionally achieved in the last two months of the year. Spector points out that the preliminary sales figures for Photo Porst for the month of September are in line with budget. Thus the management continues to expect a break-even operating result for Photo Porst for the full year 1999.
Spector is currently studying opportunities to expand its European retail business with e-commerce activities. The on-line business ties in closely with the direct marketing know-how and the logistic organization for home delivery which the Spector Group already uses in the mail order division.