Despite ongoing challenges in the operating environment and downturns in the market, the Supreme Ventures Group (SVG) says it will continue to leverage new opportunities as it fuels increased growth across its diverse operation.
“We are optimistic that the plans we have for our group and the gaming sector will be a winning strategy going forward. We have set the stage and created the momentum that will allow us to take new, bold steps to ensure that we are prepared for the opportunities ahead,” said SVG Chairman Gary Peart in his outlook for the company at its 15th annual general meeting held last Thursday
“2021 is to be a year of more investment and growth, investment in technological infrastructure, growth in our markets and product lines, investment in human resource capacity and investment in operational capabilities,” he continued.
Peart said that notwithstanding new competition in the marketplace, the company maintains dominance accounting for a significant portion of current market shares.
“We recognise that the year  has been one of the most challenging years in modern history as we grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic and [simultaneously] dealt quite successfully with the introduction of two gaming companies in Jamaica, we have remained the industry leader maintaining a 99.5 per market share. We are not daunted and we will continue to push ahead despite the impact of the pandemic.”
In its 2020 financial year the group earned profits of JM$2.4 billion and gross ticket sales of JM$76.3 billion — driven mainly by a four per cent or JM$2 billion increase in lottery and a JM$1.2 billion or 44 per cent increase in sports betting revenues. During the year payouts from the group totalled JM$51.7 billion and its shareholder base expanded to 6,400 investors with total dividend payouts of $1.9 billion. Total assets at the end of 2020 also grew to $15.6 billion. Group earnings up to the second quarter period ended in June amounted to $626 million.
The Prime Sports subsidiary, operators of gaming and lotteries products, continued to make significant contributions accounting for about 80 per cent of group revenues, a decent portion of which flowed from its sale of pin codes or phone credits. Chief executive officer (CEO) of Prime Sport, Xesus Johnston said that the segment in ensuring that it continues to deliver positive results will this year move to increase its cash payouts and retail programmes as it also leverages digital assets and expand online channels and retail locations. The export of its popular Cash Pot game to South Africa last year, the CEO said was just one of its many offerings that it will export overseas.
“Prime Sports as the engine of Supreme Ventures will continue to innovate and lead the growth in the market for SVL,” he said.
Lorna Gooden, general manager of racing subsidiary, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), said that this segment will also continue to make positive contributions to the group via the upgrade of operational facilities, digitisation of services and an expansion of its distribution footprint. Since 2017, SVREL said it has made total investments of $3.2 billion, contributing revenues of $5.7 billion last year.
“We continue to reposition Caymanas as an international product and expect the harmonious relationship with all our internal and external stakeholders to continue as we move forward,” she said.
Dennis Chung, CEO of the Supreme Ventures Services Limited subsidiary, said that entity will likewise add to the winning strategy of the group as through its Business Hub, it will continue to provide solid back office and business support services as it blazes the trail as a positive revenue contributor.
“We maintain our position as a strong stable group of companies in the market that is focused on innovating and leveraging our potential. We continue to build out our Guyanese business and dive deeper into the world of online and interactive gaming and investing in new distribution channels. We are strengthening our competitive strategy in order to bring everything into the regulatory environment.
“We are on a path of continuous innovation, reinventing our self and launching new products. We continue to expect increased revenues from our sports betting services and all subsidiaries combined as we also give back to the local economy and community development,” Peart added, announcing that in commemoration of its 20th-year celebrations, the group through its corporate social responsibility arm will be awarding 20 full scholarships valued at $100 million to students who are wards of the State towards their academic studies this year.