Aristocrat delivers 17 pct profit growth on U.S. and digital strength

Australian gaming supplier Aristocrat Leisure reported a 16.8 percent increase in NPATA in the six months ended March 31, 2019, driven by strong growth in the group’s Americas and digital businesses.

According to a filing to the ASX, normalized profit after tax and before amortization (NPATA) reached A$422.3 million in the period, compared to just A$361.5 million in the prior year period.

The company said the results were also helped by a further lift in performance across the Australia and New Zealand region.

Total revenue increased 35 percent in the period, reaching A$2.1 billion.

Given that the majority of Aristocrat’s revenue-earning business is now in the U.S., the company has also announced it is changing its group structure which will grant it some additional tax deductions in Australia.

The changes are expected to come into effect from September 30, 2019, and will result in a reduction in cash tax paid and accounting tax expense, but will not affect the amount of Australian tax it pays, according to the company.

As a result of these changes, the group’s effective tax rate (ETR) is expected to reduce by 150 to 250 bps.

Speaking of the group’s solid financial results, CEO and managing director Trevor Croker said: “Aristocrat continues to deliver above market profitable growth, leading to strong free cash flow and the ability to reinvest to self-fund future growth, whilst ensuring strong foundations remain in place,” he said.

The directors have authorized an interim fully franked dividend of 22 cents per share, up 16 percent year-on-year.