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Supreme Ventures heads downtown

Published:Sunday | May 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has wrapped up the acquisition of a property on Harbour Street in Kingston for construction of a new headquarters for the lottery company.

Brian George, president and chief executive officer, who announced the purchase at the company's annual general meeting last Thursday, said construction should begin in early 2013.

"The plans are under way and is to be presented to the board of directors to decide on the structure we are going to construct," George told shareholders.

He later told Sunday Business that the project would be tendered.

"We will appoint a design team; they will go through and do a design based on the specifications, and coming out of that they will decide whether it will be a five- storey building, four storey or otherwise — then we will go through a tendering process," George said.

He said the final cost of the project would be determined by the design.

SVL is the latest company to head downtown — wooed by tax incentives under the Urban Renewal Programme. Its project is getting under as Digicel Group is finalising its US$65-million building with plans to move by mid-summer.

Both companies now operate from leased space in New Kingston.

Missed target

SVL, a leader in the lottery and gaming market, missed its profit target at the end of its financial year in 2011, and also posted slightly lower net profits in the first quarter.

But the company is rolling out new plans to regain ground, among them a new gaming lounge to be located at Market Place on Constant Spring Road. The lounge will offer SVL's full range of lottery, gaming and sports betting products.

Again, George declined to disclose the investment being made for the set-up, but said the opening date is anticipated for August, in time to capitalise on the momentum from the Olympic Games.

In 2011, SVL gaming revenue totalled J$698 million, a decline from the J$862 million recorded at the end of 2010.

For the quarter ending March 2012, a bump in lottery sales, pushed total revenues up by 26.5 per cent to J$8.2 billion. Still, net profit dropped 10.5 per cent to J$183.8 million.