Slots developer Aristocrat Leisure Limited has revealed that group performance for the six months to 31 March 2014 was ahead of the prior corresponding period, with reported profit after tax and non-controlling interest of AUS$57.4m representing a 9.1 per cent increase over the prior year.
The firm said that the result was driven by improving operational delivery, particularly share growth in the critical US gaming operations segment, as well as foreign exchange and tax benefits. Share growth across the US and Australian outright sales markets, the maintenance of Aristocrat’s leading position in Asia Pacific and a five-fold growth in revenues in Aristocrat’s online business also contributed to the result.
In particular, the Group made significant investments in creative and technical talent and enabling technology, consistent with its plans to take share in priority segments across key markets. Investments in US gaming operations, outright sale segments in the US and Australia and the Online business drove significant performance improvements over the reporting period.
Over the six months to 31 March 2014, Aristocrat made demonstrable progress in its product-led, share-taking strategy. Across key markets, the Group closed portfolio gaps, better targeted game development and technology resources at key segments and improved front-end sales execution.
Aristocrat’s gaming operations footprint increased 18.6%, with a 6.1% increase in average fee per day compared to the prior corresponding period. Share gains were also achieved in outright sale segments in both the US and Australia, with performance in the major markets of New South Wales and Queensland a particular highlight. In addition, accelerating momentum in the Group’s online business was achieved, as Aristocrat continued to build meaningful scale in this emerging business.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Jamie Odell said “Aristocrat has reported positive performance over the six months to 31 March 2014 building on our established trajectory of NPAT growth. These gains flow directly from the rapid improvements we are making in the breadth, depth and competitiveness of our game portfolios, which have been exceptionally well received by customers and players across our priority segments.
“This builds on our medium term record of strong NPAT growth, with high quality games and products sustaining robust operational performance despite increased competition and mixed conditions across our key markets.
“Increased profitability in North America was driven by outstanding share growth in our gaming operations footprint and average fee per day, together with a higher average selling price and share growth in the outright sales segment. Once again, this has been achieved by leveraging the industry’s best technology and creative talent to attack key segments with high quality, tailored game portfolios.