US casino sales help Synectics to hit the jackpot

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SURVEILLANCE systems firm Synectics reported a 61 per cent jump in annual profits to £6m boosted by a record result from its Sheffield-based network systems arm.

The group, which develops, sells and manages CCTV and security systems, said that despite the global economic uncertainty, it has grown sales around the world.

Chief executive John Shepherd said the current order book and pipeline give the group confidence it can achieve a “strong performance” in 2013.

“The market we’re in is growing at double digit rates,” he said. “There is a need for security systems to protect critical assets for commercial customers and governments. The oil and gas industry now faces very real threats as we saw in Algeria recently.”

The Sheffield-based Synectics Network Systems division saw strong demand in the US gaming market.

Synectics now offers clients a far more sophisticated surveillance system than the traditional recording video.

“In the gaming industry we integrate into the point of sale system so we can look for unusual events in monetary transactions,” said Mr Shepherd.

“So while we may not bother with a $50 refund, if it’s a $1,000 refund and the CCTV shows no-one standing in line then we’re really interested.

“It’s no longer operators staring at screens looking for something unusual.

“The system works out what to do whether it’s automatic data logging and archiving or calling the police.”

In the US, the gaming operation is focused on casinos.

“First generation digital systems are now a bit long in the tooth and they need to be upgraded,” said Mr Shepherd.

Sales are also being driven by states such as Pennsylvania and Maryland where they are licensing casinos for the first time.

Synectics has also formed a number of relationships in the Far East where US companies have operations in Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore.

The Sheffield hub, which employs 70 people, is looking to recruit another 10.