Aristocrat Shares Hit the Jackpot

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited share price is charging during trading today. after the gaming technology company released a strong half-year result which has offset the market selloff.

The highlights of which include:

· Operating revenue up 23.1% to $2,745.4 million

· Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up 30.3% to $970.3 million

· Normalised net profit after tax before amortisation (NPATA) up 40.9% to $580.1 million

· Operating cash flow increased by 42% to $502.4 million

· Interim dividend up 73.3% to 26 cents per share

This was driven by a strong performance from Gaming Operations and Outright Sales, supported by a robust performance from Pixel United. The former reflects customers increasing their capital commitments towards Aristocrat’s high performing products as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

During the financial half year, Aristocrat maintained its market-leading investment in game design, development, and technology with $313 million invested in design & development. This represents 11.4% of group revenue. In addition, it revealed that user acquisition (UA) investment remained steady at 28% of Pixel United revenue.

On the bottom line, thanks to a combination of revenue growth and margin improvement, Aristocrat reported an impressive 40.9% increase in NPATA to $580.1 million.

According to a note out of Citi, its analysts were expecting NPATA of $537 million, while the Visible Alpha consensus was $523 million. This means the company has smashed consensus estimates, which goes some way to explaining why the Aristocrat share price is having such a strong start to the day despite the market selloff.

CEO Trevor Croker, commented:

“Aristocrat delivered an impressive and resilient performance despite mixed operational conditions and challenges. We took comprehensive action to protect our people and business, while investing strongly to accelerate our growth strategy going forward.

Our sustained investment in talent, technology and product enables us to continue to take share wherever we play and delivered significant top and bottom-line growth in the first half of fiscal 2022.

We are accelerating the implementation of our ‘build and buy’ strategy to scale in online Real Money Gaming, which provides further channels for us to distribute our world-leading content. Our ambition is to be the leading gaming platform in the global online RMG industry, and we anticipate being live with i-Gaming products in two jurisdictions in the US by the end of calendar year 2022.”