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Australia – Digital saves Aristocrat as COVID-19 brings land-based to a halt

By - 21 May 2020

With declines in all of its land-based businesses, Australian slot manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure reported a 12.8 per cent fall in net profit to AU$368.1m in the six months to the end of March as the coronavirus pandemic ate into its figures.

Aristocrat reported revenues falls in Australia and New Zealand saw revenue fall 10.8 per cent to AU$205.6m, the Americas by 4.8 per cent to AU$911m and International by 6.4 per cent to AU$90.6m.

Group-wide revenue increased though by seven per cent to AU$2.25bn, with digital increasing by 27.3 per cent to AU$1.04bn and profit by 20.9 per cent to AU$297.4m.

Aristocrat CEO and Managing Director Trevor Croker said this ‘demonstrates our core strengths and the relevance of our product-led strategy, despite the unprecedented challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.’

“Our progress in driving share through outstanding product and diversifying revenue streams – including across attractive Digital genres and titles – are also evident in this result,” he said. “Particularly in this uncertain period, we will continue to focus on what we can control and do all we can to protect the health and wellbeing of employees, customers and suppliers.”

In land-based, Aristocrat’s Class III Premium installed base grew 9.4 per cent, and its Class II installed base grew 1.8 per cen. Sales in North America continued to drive share in the core video segment while overall volumes moderated as the business cycled over a new market entry in the prior corresponding period. Market-leading ship share was maintained across Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific region.

The Digital business delivered double-digit growth in bookings, revenue and profit over the period, compared to the prior corresponding period. RAID: Shadow Legends continued its impressive growth trajectory – generating US$160m in bookings. Evergreen titles such as Lightning Link and Cashman Casino benefited from the delivery of live ops, new features and slot content.

Mr. Croker added: “We will also continue to drive our strategic advantages in product, with aggressive investment in our core growth engines of Design and Development and User Acquisition to target share and continue to diversify our portfolios. In land-based, we will execute our ambitious plans to partner and grow with our customers as conditions improve. And in Digital, we will accelerate execution of our portfolio-based growth strategy as we further mature and scale the organisation.
“Our strong balance sheet, ample liquidity and excellent financial fundamentals position us to emerge from this period strongly, while allowing us full optionality to continue to invest for long-term growth.”

Aristocrat said it had liquidity of AU$1.8bn as of 31 March 2020.

“I want to acknowledge and thank our extraordinary team of employees around the world, whose resilience, pragmatism and care for each other throughout this period has been nothing short of inspiring. The energy and culture of Aristocrat people has been particularly striking during these challenging times and places the business in great stead for the future,” Mr Croker concluded.

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