Key Investments

This page shows Electra's current significant Buyouts and Co-investments (valuation as of 31 March 2018).

Photobox Group
Personalised products and gifts

Photobox Group

Year ended 30 April    
  2016 2017
  £m £m
Sales 295.9 326.0
Operating Profit 41.6 40.5
EBITDA 47.4 47.9

In January 2016, Electra invested £89 million in the acquisition of Photobox alongside Exponent Private Equity. In July 2017 Epiris’s 1% interest in the investment was purchased for £1 million.

Photobox is Europe’s leading digital consumer service for personalised products and gifts. It enables millions of customers to share memories by turning their digital photographs into a range of personalised products and gifts, from traditional prints and greetings cards to photobooks, calendars and canvases, using the group’s websites, installed software and mobile applications. Products are manufactured across five production facilities and sold across Europe through the PhotoBox, Moonpig, Hofmann and posterXXL brands.

There has been significant investment in the management team over the last 12 months, following the appointment of a new CEO in July 2016. This has led to a number of product and pricing initiatives, which are designed to improve the group’s operating margins. Combined with technology related projects on both the front end, to improve customer experience, and operationally on the back-end systems, these initiatives will fuel long-term growth. Due to its scale, Photobox is well placed to capture a greater share of a growing market as a result of the expansion in digital photography and the increased propensity to purchase personalised products. The strategy is to accelerate this through improving the rate and economics of customer acquisition as well as through product innovation.

Photobox saw strong sales performance in the financial year to April 2017 with 10% growth, but earnings were impacted by the technology investment. This operational improvement will be key in establishing a platform to drive future growth. In the current financial year Photobox has focused on reducing discounts and replacing this with broader marketing schemes. This has helped improve margins, although consumer demand may take time to adjust. Moonpig continues to be the standout division as customers switch from buying their cards in store to online.


Personalised products and gifts

Date of initial investment:

January 2016

Type of deal:


Equity Ownership:






Multiple of cost:






Jody Ford, CEO; Douglas McCallum, Chairman

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