Shares in poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure surged yesterday (in a very weak market) after confirming another year of strong growth.
The company reported a 29% jump in full-year profit, to $699 million, off the back of similarly strong sales growth and favourable currency movements between the US and Aussie dollars especially.
As a result, the company will pay a fully franked final dividend of 34 cents, up from 27 cents a year ago. That makes a full-year payout of 56 cents a share, up from 47 cents for 2017-18.
The news helped push the shares up more than 6% to $33.71. They were as high as $33.92.
The company said its normalised net profit after tax in constant currency was up 14% on a 22.7% rise in group to $4.4 billion, driven by rising poker machine sales in the Americas, which in US dollar terms lifted 14% to $1.36 billion.
The company’s portfolio of online and smartphone games saw revenues jump 21% to $US1.23 billion.
Sales were flat in Australia, New Zealand, and other markets at $A455 million.
Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker said the company had benefited from new segments and genres of gaming, including role-playing game RAID: Shadow Legends.
Mr. Croker said the company has made significant strides in bedding down recent digital acquisitions, leveraging critical skillsets, and establishing a diversified portfolio approach.
“Across digital, we anticipate further growth in digital bookings supported by scaling of recently released new games,” the company said in a note.
“Throughout the year, Aristocrat strived to meet the evolving needs of customers and players by investing in our product portfolios and expanding into attractive new segments and genres.”
The company also said its reworked tax structure – implemented this week to reflect the company’s growing American operations – would help reduce costs going forward.
Aristocrat said the changes will not impact the amount of Australian tax the business pays.