Thursday May 30,2013 : H.1 REVENUES DOWN, BUT ARISTOCRAT OPTIMISTIC ON F.Y. RESULTS
 
Interim dividend increased and NPAT up 11.2 percent
 
Land and online gambling supplier Aristocrat Leisure Limited has posted H1-2013 results for the six months to March 31st, reporting revenues down 7.5 percent, but Management remains optimistic that full year results will be up to expectations.
 
Group performance for the first half was ahead of the prior corresponding period, with a strong net profit after tax result of $52.6 million, representing an 11.2 percent increase over the prior corresponding period.
 
The Board has authorised an interim dividend of 7 cents per share, representing a pay-out ratio of 74 percent of normalised NPAT, but in light of the company's strengthening financial position, its directors have decided to introduce an increased target pay-out ratio of 60 percent to 80 percent of normalised net profit after tax in the future.
 
Highlights of the H1-2013 report include:

  • A marginal drop in EBIT to $95.4 million
  • 7.5 percent decrease in total revenue to $384.2 million largely reflecting fewer scheduled game releases in Japan, compared to the prior corresponding period. Across the balance of the Group’s major markets, half-on-half revenues remained strong.
  • A significant saving in interest expense, showing the benefit of the Group’s focus on reducing debt levels; debt now stands at $185.1 million.
  • A drop in operating cash flow of 40.8 percent, predominately reflecting decreased Japan revenues and the timing of Japan game releases in the current year. In addition, the business continued to invest in gaming operations, undertook two acquisitions during the reporting period, funded dividends and further reduced debt;

CEO and managing director, Jamie Odell, said “Our half year results demonstrate that Aristocrat’s fundamentals are continuing to improve, with our fourth consecutive period of double-digit NPAT growth, strong operational performance led by compelling games and ongoing cost discipline.
 
“This positive momentum has allowed the business to refresh our strategy, fund acquisitions and invest in share-taking opportunities in both existing and emerging segments. We are fully focused on driving sustainable value and returns beyond our turnaround window.
 
“We expect second half NPAT performance to be broadly in line with the first half. This will deliver continued growth in normalised profit after tax over the full year to 30 September 2013 compared to the prior 12 months to 30 September 2012.
 
“We anticipate positive operational performance compared to the first half, partially offset by an increase in D&D investment as we ramp up spend to unlock opportunities in line with our strategy. This guidance assumes one further game release in Japan in the second half and the prevailing Australian to US dollar exchange rate."