Betting, gaming and lottery company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has reported increased profits for the nine months to September 30, 2012, but said the company continued to face the challenge of increasing bad debts as agents become delinquent in settling outstanding invoices.
It also faces the challenge of reducing costs in its hospitality business segment.
In its latest financial results, SVL said that bad debts increased to more than $11 million during the nine-month period due to delinquency in agent settlement of invoices, but the company has embarked on an aggressive collection programme to reduce the figure.
Notwithstanding that, SVL said its agent expansion programme continued with more than 1,190 terminals now actively selling the company's products.
SVL, which over the years has been restructuring its operation, has on the market several lottery games, including the multi-jurisdictional jackpot game, Super Lotto. It has also diversified into sports betting.
It also operates the chain of Acropolis gaming lounges whose network has also been expanded islandwide.
The company said that profits for the nine-month period totalled $631.79 million, reflecting an increase of 15 per cent or $83 million, compared with the $548.4 million recorded for the corresponding nine-month period in 2011.
This translated into earnings per share of $0.240, up from $0.208 last year.
Revenues for the period were $22.6 billion, a 12.52 per cent increase over the $20.16 billion recorded for the corresponding period the previous year.
Lottery revenue grew by 12.73 per cent while sports betting showed an increase of 132.44 per cent for the period.
However, revenues from the company's hospitality segment, which includes the gaming lounge operation, were down to $63.8 million from $83.8 million for the same period in 2011.
The company also continues to see increases in the amount of unclaimed prizes, which moved to $85 million from $70 million.
The jackpot prize of $171.6 million from the super lottery game drawn in October and won by a Jamaican is also still to be claimed.
SVL says the winner has up until the end of December to make the claim.
The company said that during the review period, direct expense grew to $19.8 billion as costs associated with lottery and sport betting prizes increased.
Operating expenses also grew, reflecting increases in staff costs, marketing, professional fees and drawing expenses.
Increased costs were also compounded by a $200-million loss in revenue due to the passage of Hurricane Sandy in October, during which the company lost two full days of lottery and sports betting sales.
Nonetheless, SVL said it remains optimistic as the management team continues to focus on initiatives that will improve the group's efficiency and reduce operating costs.
It also said the company has begun the refurbishing and upgrading of some gaming lounges, with the completion of its newest at Market Place, Constant Spring Road, St Andrew scheduled for opening in early January 2013.
The company said it also has plans to continue its sports betting expansion programme with the intention to open owner-operated locations.
SVL, a listed company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, last traded at $2.55.