Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) - Managing Director & CEO, Trevor Croker
Managing Director & CEO, Trevor Croker
Source: Inside Asian Gaming
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  • Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) reports a sturdy increase in half-year profit, prompting a bolstered dividend even as the company launches a $500 million share buyback program
  • The poker machine manufacturer grew revenue by 23.1 per cent to $2.7 billion over the six months to the end of March, with net profits up 48.1 per cent to $513 million
  • The company declared a 26-cent interim dividend, fully franked — matching the final dividend paid out last year but nearly doubling its FY21 interim dividend
  • Alongside its financial report, Aristocrat announced a $500 million share buyback program to kick off as early as June 2 and run over 12 months
  • Shares in Aristocrat Leisure are up 5.06 per cent to $33.20 at 12:32 pm AEST today

Pokie maker Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) has reported a 48.1 per cent increase in half-year profit, prompting a bolstered interim dividend even as the company launches a $500 million share buyback program.

The gambling giant said its revenue for the six months to the end of March increased 23.1 per cent compared to the same time the year before to $2.7 billion.

The revenue bump drove an increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 30.3 per cent to $970 million.

Aristocrat Leisure posted a net profit after tax of $513 million compared to the $362 million tabled over the prior corresponding period.

What’s more, the company said the half-year result came despite disruptions from the Russia-Ukraine war. Aristocrat suspended its operations in Russia in March following the invasion of Ukraine.

The financial results led Aristocrat to declare a 26-cent interim dividend, fully franked — matching the final dividend paid by the company at the end of its 2021 financial year but nearly doubling the 15-cent interim dividend paid out this time last year.

Looking ahead, the company said it would continue to accelerate its ‘real money gaming’ (RMG) business segment, with Aristocrat planning to launch i-Gaming products with two key customers in the US before the end of 2022.

The company said it was also looking at more merger and acquisition opportunities to achieve quicker inorganic growth.

This comes after Aristocrat’s attempted $4 billion takeover of Playtech was stopped in its tracks by some shareholders earlier this year.

ALL’s capital raise refund

In tandem with its half-year report, Aristocrat today announced a $500 million share buyback program to kick off as early as June 2.

The company will buy the shares back on market over 12 months, meaning it will likely spend far less per share than it received when it raised just under $1.3 billion to help fund the planned Playtech purchase.

Aristocrat issued shares at $41.85 last year to raise the funds, but shares have since fallen in value by over 20 per cent, trading around $33 each over most of April.

In any case, Aristocrat said the buyback was part of its capital management strategy and the company would be able to fund it completely from existing cash reserves.

Shares in Aristocrat Leisure were up 5.06 per cent to $33.20 at 12:32 pm AEST today. The company has a $22.2 billion market cap.

ALL by the numbers
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