Sceptre Leisure profits down a third


UK operator Sceptre Leisure has announced a 33% drop in profit before tax to £0.6m for the six months to 31 October.

Sceptre, which acquired the machines and operations of rival RV Smith earlier this month announced that its operating profit was down by a quarter to £1.2m. This was partly due to the sale of 770 fixed-odds betting terminals in April 2010.

Sceptre has cited pub closures and uncertainty over SWP legislation this year as reasons for the reduced machine income.

“We have demonstrated the strength of the Sceptre business in this period against a tough trading backcloth,” said chief executive Ken Turner. “Through quality of service and a market leading proposition we have traded strongly in the circumstances.

“We will continue to seek growth organically and by selected acquisition. We are in good shape to take advantage of opportunities that are afforded us.”

Turner said he had seen a 20 per cent increase in income on note payout machines, of which it currently has 6,000.

“This technology offers significant benefits to the publican, as it reduces the requirement to refill the machines with coinage, and increases operational uptime by eliminating hopper starvation where the machine is unable to accept notes as payment due to a lack of cash available to pay out prizes,”  he said.

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