Aristocrat Leisure Targets Solid Growth Ahead

After reporting a 1percent decrease in revenue for the first half of the year in its most recent financial statement, Aristocrat Leisure is targeting solid growth for the full year ending September 30, 2021.

After sales fell 1 percent to AU$2.22 billion (2020: $AU$2.25 billion) for the six months ending March 31, 2021, the company says it enters the second half of 2021 with “excellent momentum, resilience, and confidence.”

This, according to Aristocrat, was primarily due to “outstanding digital performance” and a “robust recovery” throughout its North American gaming operations.

Aristocrat digital saw a 14.3 percent growth in H1 sales to AU$1.19 billion (2020: $1.04 billion), with the group’s Australia and New Zealand division seeing a 1.7 percent increase in revenue to $209.1 million, up from $205.6 million.

The Americas section fell 11.1 percent to AU$810.2 million (2020: $911 million), with the ‘International Class III’ category falling 81.5 percent to AU$16.8 million (2020: AU$90.6 million).

Aristocrat reports that its gaming companies have continued to concentrate on assisting consumers with COVID-19 recovery in all divisions. Recurring sources accounted for nearly 8 percent of sales during the time.

Trevor Croker, Aristocrat CEO and managing director explained: “The outstanding momentum we’ve delivered this half reflects our unwavering focus on the things we can control, which lies at the heart of our proven growth strategy.

“Despite the uncertainties driven by COVID-19, we have maintained investment in the best people, talent, technology and product portfolios, and taken conscious decisions to accelerate implementation of our strategy. 

“The results are reflected in the share growth and margin expansion achieved across digital and key gaming segments in the six months to March 31, 2021, and the double-digit increase in normalised group NPATA delivered in the same period.”

Over the time period, net profit after tax increased 18.4 percent to AU$362.2 million (2020: AU$305.9 million), with EBITDA increasing six percentage points to AU$750.3 million (2020: AU$707.6 million).

The company has spent $103 million in the first half of the year on capital expenditures to help more investment in its gaming operations installed base, which it says is intended to position the company for potential development.

Aristocrat claims that its global team is united behind a reimagined growth strategy, with proven momentum and the ability to continue to invest and execute in the coming years.

“We expect uncertain and volatile conditions to continue near term, and we are closely monitoring key factors including consumer sentiment and gaming venue patronage,” Croker added.

“Nevertheless, we enter the second half of fiscal 2021 with excellent momentum, resilience, and confidence with a strong balance sheet to continue to invest organically to grow share and accelerate growth through M&A in line with our rigorous criteria.”