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Golden Games: UK says Olympics brought billions

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July 18, 2013 07:03 PM EST | AP

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LONDON — Britain's government says the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games gave the country an almost 10 billion pound ($15 billion) boost.

Authorities said Friday that UK economy has seen an increase in business from contracts, sales and foreign investment stemming from a conference and a series of events tied to the games.

The figures – the first released in a four-year plan – are important because staging the games is expensive. Organizers repeatedly promised Britons that the 9.3 billion pounds ($14.7 billion) spent to host the event would be money well spent.

The latest numbers, however, don't include the effect of tourism. The Olympics offers a unique platform to show off a country's finer points. Tourism officials say images of castles, cliffs and countryside will bring dividends for decades.