Strong US performance boosts Aristocrat 17H1 profit

Australia-listed Aristocrat Leisure reported a strong rise in net profit for the first half of the year, and also announced its profit expectations for the full year ended Sept. 30, 2017.

Net profit after tax (NPAT) was A$249.8 million (US$187 million) in 17H1, up 56.9 percent from A$159.1 million in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose 21.6 percent to A$1.2 billion in the first half of the year, up from A$1.0 billion in 2016’s first half.

Aristocrat said the result “reflected the strong performance delivered across the Group’s portfolio, particularly growth in Aristocrat’s America’s, Digital and International Class III businesses, supported by sustained momentum in Australia.”

The company’s Americas business saw a A$64.7 million improvement in post-tax profit compared to the prior period, while large scale openings in Philippines, Malaysia and South Africa drove up the group’s international gaming machines business to A$132 million.

“Industry leading content, hardware and technology translated into exceptional operating performance despite competitive market conditions,” commented Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker.

The company also confirmed its profit expectations for the full year ending Sept. 30, 2017.

According to the filing, Aristocrat says it expects growth in normalized NPATA to be in the range of 20-30 percent compared to the 2016 full year.

“While this guidance implies a lower second half, it reflects a planned uplift in design and development investment, together with the [weighted] impact of the concentration of new openings in the first half of the financial year, which is not likely to be repeated in the second half,” said the company.

The directors have authorized an interim dividend of A$0.14 per share, amounting to approximately A$89.4 million aggregate.

The dividend is expected to be declared and paid on July 3, 2017.

Earlier this week, Aristocrat announced the appointment of Richard Bell as its new company secretary, subject to regulatory approvals. Richard is poised to serve as company secretary together with Toni Korsanos, chief financial officer and company secretary.