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Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
June 26, 2009

Local Company Positions Itself as Leader in Gaming Industry

The Provincial Government today announced a $500,000 term loan to The British Group, formerly British Confectionery Ltd., that will help to position the company at the forefront of the gaming industry.  The investment enables the company to acquire new technology that strengthens its competitiveness and fulfill agreements with Canadian-based lottery corporations.

"The British Group is a resilient company that has a long-standing history of servicing the gaming community," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.  "The introduction of this new technology enhances the company�s ability to generate new revenue and better compete globally. As a government, we are working aggressively to help support local businesses compete nationally and around the world. With increased success, we are helping stimulate economic growth, employment creation, and new business opportunities."

North America�s gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that constantly demands its suppliers look for new and improved ways of offering products and services. By investing in new technology, The British Group will be meeting customer demands, and staying on the leading edge of its industry.

"As the security concerns of major lottery organizations around the world become more prevalent, this new technology enables our company to deliver enhanced security solutions to our major clients," said Blair Connolly, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing of The British Group. "This investment positions us as a leader in this highly competitive market."

The company was first awarded a contract to supply the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) with its pull-tab tickets in 1992.  In the years since, its client-base has grown to include the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the Massachusetts State Lottery and many major Canadian, United States, and United Kingdom-based distributors.

"Today�s announcement reflects the innovative business climate that is emerging in the province," said Elizabeth Marshall, MHA, Topsail.  "I am pleased that The British Group has identified opportunities to expand its operations. Its expansion will not only pay dividends for the company but contribute to the overall growth of the community, region, and province."

Based in Mount Pearl, The British Group was first established as a wholesale confectionary distributor in 1958.  The company currently has 70 employees and is anticipated to increase employment as it delivers on new contracts.

This initiative was provided through the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Fund, which through Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation has more than $12 million available for investment. The SME Fund is available for start-up, modernization, or expansion of a business venture in key growth sectors.  A maximum of $500,000 is available per project with an applicant investment of up to 20 per cent of project costs.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570; 690-6290
Blair Connolly
Vice-President, Sales & Marketing
The British Group
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members� Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424

2009 06 26                                                   10:50 a.m.

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