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Tombola a big winner in the gaming industry.

Byline: BUSINESS coreena ford coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

NUMBERS are up at North East online gaming leaders Tombola, which boosted turnover to PS73.7m as it continues to thrive in the UK and Europe.

The big tech employer, which is around four months away from moving into new PS7m headquarters in Sunderland, creates and develops original bingo software and online games, working closely with North East universities and colleges to attract talent.

The gaming giant employs almost 450 people across its Sunderland site and in Italy, Spain and Gibraltar.

The firm has posted results for the year to April 30, 2017, which show a 24% lift in turnover.

Operating profit also jumped 17% to PS13.5m, while profit for the financial year ended at PS15.3m, a 54% leap on the previous year's PS9.9m.

The company's founder and chief executive Phil Cronin said the figures came as the group "continues to thrive and grow its market share across the UK and Europe". In a review of the business, he said: "The group's net profit before tax also increased during the year to PS13.8m from PS11.9m which is also a result of the introduction of Tombola Arcade.

"The group is focused on the continual research and development of its products and invests much time and resource to ensure the highest quality of product."

The company, which was the sponsor of the most recent series of ITV's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, is the number one bingo site in Italy and Spain and Mr Cronin sounded a note of caution over Brexit, adding that the firm was looking at contingency plans to ensure it isn't affected.

He said: "The principal risk and uncertainty the company faces is Brexit. There are still a number of Brexit scenarios which may cause issues with trade in Spain and Italy. However, the management team is currently in the process of reviewing options to ensure the company has contingency plans for business continuity."

Dividends of PS7m were paid out during the year, and charitable donations of more than PS140,000 were made to local charities and institutions.

Shareholder funds also increased, from PS19.9m to PS28.3m.

Following the publication of the results, Mr Cronin said expansion into new territories is on the cards.

He said: "Tombola has continued to grow at an outstanding rate while consistently delivering an innovative and original portfolio of online entertainment for our customers and exceptional technical performance, support and customer service.

"We are nearly three years into our five-year 2020 strategy and ahead of our own projections for the forthcoming year.

"The opening of our new HQ in Sunderland is a key element of our future development, expansion and growth plans. It will also assist us to achieve our aim to significantly increase the size of our North East tech team by 2020.

"Tombola also continues to perform well in all international markets.

"As well as the UK, Tombola is the leading bingo site in both Italy and Spain, and we plan to expand into more new territories in the coming months."

As well as the UK, Tombola is the leading bingo site in both Italy and SpainPhil Cronin

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Phil Cronin, chief executive of Tombola, says it is growing fast

How the new Tombola HQ in Sunderland will look. The firm hopes to "significantly increase" its North East team by 2020
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Feb 1, 2018
Words:569
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