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Photobox CEO: We are on a mission to conquer European markets

By CNN wire staff
December 16, 2013 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
  • Photobox owns personalized card service and StickGram, a personal fridge magnet and phone cover company.
  • In 2012, Moonpig generated 1.5 million downloads of its mobile app contributing to Photobox's double-growth.
  • Photobox CEO Stan Laurent also reaffirmed Photobox's commitment to developing UK talent.

(CNN) -- One of Europe's leading online personalized publishers is on a mission to "conquer Europe," according to the firm's chief.

Speaking with CNN's Nina dos Santos, Photobox chief executive officer Stan Laurent said European countries excluding the UK and France represent the group's "fastest growing geographies" but there was still plenty of market-share to gain.

"We're also expanding internationally very rapidly and that requires talent," Laurent said."We have to develop local talent even if we build it out of the UK... Local talent that can support local markets with the right level of service."

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The UK, Laurent added, is "a great place to find the talent that we need. We also think that driver for our business is the quality of the product and therefore it's not about doing the cheapest product."

Following a spate of acquisitions, Photobox now owns the personalized card service and StickyGram, a site that allows users to create fridge magnets and phone covers from their Instagram photos.

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Asked whether Photobox would venture into new markets, Laurent responded: "We've started to launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand and other geographies where we certainly think that, with the help of some services like StickyGram, we can turn this into a global platform over time."

Photobox is also trying to extend its range of services including mobile in an effort to increase its share of a $7 billion market, according to Laurent, who was appointed CEO in 2006.

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"We're investing very heavily in mobile, in mobile technologies and looking for real experts who can continue to develop that proposition," he said.

In 2012, Moonpig generated 1.5 million downloads of its mobile app contributing to Photobox's double-growth and £147.5 million in revenue, according to company's annual earnings report.

We're investing very heavily in mobile, in mobile technologies and looking for real experts who can continue to develop that proposition.
Stan Laurent, CEO of Photobox

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But Laurent said that 95% of the greeting card market is still store-based, adding: "What mobile brings is two things; one, convenience; and two, convenience.... It's just a fabulous tool particularly when you're talking about products [as] you have all your photos on your mobile as well."

The company has come a long way since founders Graham Hobson and Mark Chapman set up an online photo ordering business in 2000.

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Thirteen years on Laurent said Photobox was a "visionary idea" at a time when broadband was limited and digital cameras were just starting to emerge.

The CEO added that the secret to Photobox's success is in the personal touch.

"It's really about the whole customer experience," he told CNN. "And making sure customers have a product at the emotional value that they allocate to it because it's their photos it's their families it's their kids often that are on the product."

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