Poker machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure’s first-half profit has risen 2.8 per cent, buoyed by a huge jump in digital revenue and continued growth in the Americas business.
The company made a net profit of $256.5 million in the six months to March 31, with revenue rising to $1.6 billion from $1.2 billion a year ago.
The news pushed Aristocrat shares seven per cent higher by midday on Thursday, making them the strongest performers among the top 100 companies on the ASX.
Aristocrat on Thursday said strong growth in its Americas business against the backdrop of a broadly flat market drove a $42.9 million improvement in post-tax profit, while revenue benefited from its growing digital segment.
Aristocrat’s digital revenue more than tripled in the six months and accounted for nearly 34 per cent of its total revenue – contributing more than the company’s gaming operations.
That compares to the same period last year, when the company’s digital division contributed only 14 per cent of total revenue.
Positive momentum from the business was checked, however, by expenses, including legal, consulting and restructuring costs, in relation to the acquisitions of Israeli gaming company Plarium and online game maker Big Fish.
Excluding the significant items, Aristocrat said profit rose 24.4 per cent to $310.5 million.
The group confirmed it expects full-year net profit after taxation and amortisation to grow by more than 10 per cent.
Chief executive Trevor Croker said the company had delivered another strong period of growth.
“Aristocrat will continue to push for growth by increasing our strategic investment in design and development, in order to protect and extend market leading positions,” Mr Croker said.
“We will also maintain our focus on successfully integrating our new digital businesses, while accelerating collaboration, in order to fully leverage our deepening digital and land-based capabilities.”
At 1200 AEST, Aristocrat shares were $1.97, or 7.1 per cent, higher at $29.78.
ARISTOCRAT’S HY RESULTS:
* Net profit up 2.8pct to $256.5m
* Revenue up 28.5pct to $1.6b
* Fully franked interim dividend up 5 cents to 19 cents