The Revolution laundry machines were sturdy and have been managing the installation of 203 machines since May

() issued a profit warning as consumer demand for vending machines and services remained “hard hit” by the coronavirus pandemic.

With the group’s instant-service photo booths and children’s rides typically located in train stations and shopping malls, the return of government lockdowns and ongoing restrictions on international travel have hurt business after a “slight return” of summer consumer activity.

Consolidated sales for the six months to the end of October 2020 are expected to decrease by 26% compared to the same period last year. Pre-tax profit for the 18-month period to the end of October is expected to be around £ 0.5m.

However, the group stated that cash flow was positive for the period and ended the period with net cash of £ 22m. It has agreed to new banking agreements to give it more flexibility, it added.

Photo booth revenue has fallen 26% since early May, while the smaller children’s rides business has been hit even harder.

However, the Revolution laundry machines were sturdy. Average revenue was only 2% lower year-over-year, leading management to install 203 machines since May.

In a further attempt at diversification, new “professional apple and pineapple juice machines” were developed, which are subjected to market tests with “promising results” at several locations in France and Belgium.

In addition, directors plan to reduce the number of photo booths by around 17%, with nearly 5,000 unprofitable photo booths and children’s rides being sold or scrapped in the UK, Europe, China and South Korea.

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