Aristocrat saw Asia slot share gain year to Sept 30: CEO

Aristocrat saw Asia slot share gain year to Sept 30: CEO
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Gaming equipment and content supplier Aristocrat Leisure Ltd had a “standout year” for the 12 months to September 30 in the commercial casino slot machine segment, said Trevor Croker (pictured), the group’s chief executive and managing director, in a speech to its annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday.

Referring to the segment’s common name within the industry, he stated: “International Class III had a standout year, growing revenue 87 percent in constant currency and more than doubling profits, driven by strong performance and share gains in Asia and the market recovery in EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa].”

Though he added: “In ANZ [Australia and New Zealand], revenue was relatively flat and profit margins contracted around 1 percent mainly due to increased U.S. dollar input costs.”

The comments were filed to the Australian Securities Exchange on the day the AGM took place.

The firm had in November, at the time of its financial-year results to September 30, declared a fully-franked dividend of AUD0.34 (US$0.22) per share, in the aggregate amount of AUD220.4 million.

Aristocrat Leisure’s chairman Neil Chatfield said in his remarks to Thursday’s AGM: “After fully funding growth initiatives and returning AUD811 million of cash to shareholders through dividends and an on-market buy-back programme, Aristocrat finished the year with AUD3.9 billion of liquidity. To date, Aristocrat has completed 80 percent of our up to AUD1.5-billion on-market share buy-back programme.”

Aristocrat Leisure had reported fiscal-year revenue of just below AUD6.30 billion, up 13.0 percent from the prior year. The company posted a profit after tax of AUD1.45 billion, a 53.3-percent increase year-on-year.

Mr Croker said annual revenue had been “13 percent higher in reported terms and 7 percent higher in constant currency, compared to the prior year, driven by a continued strong performance from Aristocrat Gaming Americas,” though he added this had been “partly offset by softness in the mobile gaming market which impacted Pixel United”.

Aristocrat Leisure has three business divisions: Aristocrat Gaming for the land-based industry; Pixel United for mobile games; and Anaxi for online real-money gaming (RMG).

“Anaxi made considerable progress towards its aspiration to become the leading and most trusted global player in online RMG,” stated Mr Croker.

He added: “Although it’s early, we were encouraged by the rapid scaling achieved over the year. Anaxi games are now live with seven operators in six countries across eight jurisdictions, and by year end, we had established access to over 80 percent of the legal iGaming market in the U.S.”

Mr Chatfield noted Aristocrat Leisure had five years earlier developed its multichannel approach “to reach ever more customers and players”.

He told the AGM: “The results speak for themselves. Since financial 2018, group revenues have grown at a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of 12 percent, increasing over 75 percent from AUD3.6 billion in 2018 to AUD6.3 billion in 2023.”

The chairman added: “Segment profits have grown at an 11 percent CAGR, increasing from AUD1.6 billion to over AUD2.7 billion.”

He added that earnings per share before amortisation of acquired intangibles had “expanded at a CAGR of 12 percent over the same time frame, notwithstanding challenges through the Covid years”.