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Vending Technologies Expands International Horizon

VendSmart Integrates Software, Partnerships, Operator Licensing

AUCKLAND, 21 February 2001 - Vending Technologies Limited (NZSE: VTL) today introduced VendSmart, a new licensing programme that will further accelerate the company’s growth into international markets.

Announcing the programme VTL Chairman, Richard Janes said, “When Vending Technologies Ltd listed last November, it was on the back of an aggressive growth plan. VendSmart will further accelerate that growth into international markets. The programme addresses the mounting demand for vending solutions in a wide variety of locations and is being rolled out right now.

“We believe that it’s a world first in vended distribution that will transform the rate at which VTL can grow.

“The programmes announced today, will bring about structural changes to VTL’s business which, we expect, will materially affect the quality of earnings. On that basis we have revised our forecast for the 12 months ending 31 March 2002. We now expect to report a surplus of $4.9 million after tax, up 20% on the $4.09 million surplus after tax previously forecast.”

VendSmart is a licensing programme based around, SmartVend, VTL’s proprietary vending management software and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) partnership programme. Under VendSmart independent operators will be able to enter the rapidly-growing vending business with a modest financial investment.

After a period of training they will place and service smart vending machines into hospitals, recreation centres, universities, offices, workplaces and other locations where consumers want a choice of hot and cold vended food and drink products.

VendSmart has launched in New Zealand and Australia, and VTL expects to enter the US market next financial year.

VTL General Manager, Rob Seymour said, “VendSmart is designed to maximise independent operators’ potential earnings, at the same time allowing them lifestyle options and flexibility together with all the benefits of owning their own business. Our proprietary software provides them with sophisticated management reporting and control systems.

“It brings together a number of leading food and beverage companies looking to take advantage of a fast growing retail channel and potential vending operators who are looking for an independent income stream, with Vending Technologies’ world-class proprietary software providing the layer that links them operationally.”

SmartVend Software Upgraded
VTL also announced the release of version 4.2 of SmartVend, the vending management software that underpins the licensing programme. It coincides with an upgrade of the on board microelectronics and provides greater security and more detailed and flexible reporting options.

SmartVend enables licensees to remotely manage their machines and provides real-time sales reporting to help them maximise their earning potential. Using their own PC they can download sales information, manage their business, and order stock via the Internet.

International Growth
According to industry research US sales of drinks and food through electronic vending machines grew to US$35 billion annually in 1999 (Industry survey, Vending Times 2000). Japan has one vending machine for each twenty three people, the US has one for each fifty people, Australia one per 150 and New Zealand one per 300 people.

“That only tells part of the story,” said Mr Seymour. “Most machines in the US are servicing work locations with over 100 employees. The greatest growth potential, which this programme directly addresses, is in servicing locations with 50 – 100 people. According to research from Cognetics (Cambridge MA), US businesses in this sector are showing the highest employee growth rates.”

“We believe that VendSmart has global application. It will create new jobs in a fast growing sector, will win export orders for the company and drive VTL’s international operations by stimulating further growth of this rapidly changing market. VTL is well advanced in its discussion with international companies with a view to licensing VendSmart into other territories.”

FMCG Partnership Programme
To support the growth of VendSmart VTL also announced the formation of its FMCG partnership programme. Vending is one of the few growth markets available to these companies.

“Our partnership programme means we can take FMCG brands to the vending channel in a cost efficient way,” says Mr Seymour. “We will help them establish a long-term position and supply them with week by week and site by site product data and analysis.”

Cadbury Confectionary Limited has purchased signage rights on all VTL’s New Zealand snack machines and an agreed number of vending lanes. Under the arrangement, VTL will provide Cadbury with vending channel-specific sales analysis.

Chris Dee, Commercial Development Director of Cadbury Confectionery Limited, said, “As business becomes more mobile and consumer behaviour more convenience-oriented, the vending channel presents a growth opportunity for confectionery. VTL provides an efficient, well managed solution that will enable us to gain long-term, cost-effective presence in this channel.”

About Vending Technologies Limited
Vending Technologies Limited (NZSE:VTL) supplies and operates electronically advanced food and beverage vending machines throughout Australasia. Established in December 1997, the company manufactures, sells, maintains and services vending machines. To assist its expansion VTL raised $7.5 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in October last year.

The company has developed a proprietary computerised management system to enable tracking of all transactions, with complete revenue accountability and the ability to monitor the performance of each machine from remote locations.
Vending Technologies has a network of long-term alliances with leading suppliers of major branded convenience food and beverages. Please visit us at www.nzvend.co.nz.


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