Fruit machine group cashes in

Ken Turner, CEO, on the announcement of the acquisition of Orb Holdings by Gamingking. The enlarged Company is proposed to be renamed Sceptre Leisure Plc.
Ken Turner, CEO, on the announcement of the acquisition of Orb Holdings by Gamingking. The enlarged Company is proposed to be renamed Sceptre Leisure Plc.
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A company which supplies fruit machines, juke boxes and pool tables to more than 21,000 pubs, clubs and bookmakers across Britain has signed a major deal with one of Britain’s biggest pub groups.

Sceptre Leisure Solutions, a subsidiary of the Sceptre Leisure which has its head office at Walton Summit, near Bamber Bridge, has agreed a two-year deal with the Punch Taverns’ managed house division, The Punch Pub Company.

Sceptre announced its pre-tax profits had soared by more than a third in the last year, up 37% to £1.9m with revenues up 9% to £42.8m with revenues up 9% to £42.8m.

Key accounts director Claire Naylor said she hoped that the deal with Punch could be the start of a lucrative link-up with Punch,

She said: “We are delighted to begin this customer-supplier relationship which we hope will develop over the next couple of years.

“Indeed, we have already identified many opportunities to develop and enhance existing and additional revenue streams.”

The transition programme will commence mid-October and roll out over a four week period.

Chief executive Ken Turner told shareholders that the contract win was evidence that Britain’s top pub companies now saw Sceptre as “the leading machine operator.”

He said: “We continue to win business from the competition through our offering of high-quality service and products.

“We have demonstrated that Sceptre can continue to grow and prosper in a difficult market place and we remain confident that we can continue to do so in the coming year.”

He added the group saw “a number of acquisition opportunities” to buy firms it could integrate into its business.

Sceptre has built up a warchest of cash having secured £6.5m from a new banking facility with Lloyds TSB last year, had a £5.5m share placing with and pocketing £900,000 from the sale of 751 fixed odds betting machines used in bookmakers.

Mr Turner said: “We will continue to assess these opportunities and pursue those that we feel offer the clearest benefits to our organisation.”

Chairman Douglas Yates said its achievements had come despite “the worst recession in 50 years” and hailed the achievement of the businesses management team.

He said: “The retain sufficient headroom to continue our expansion.”