Gaming and lottery provider International Game Technology Plc (IGT) has posted a net profit of US$40.3 million for the first quarter of this year, turning around a US$103.2-million loss in the corresponding period last year.
IGT’s return to profit was in spite of a fall in first quarter revenue of about 5 percent, from US$1.21 billion last year to about US$1.14 billion this year.
For the three months ending March 31, earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also fell, by about 4 percent, to US$416.67 million compared to the US$436.16 million in the corresponding period last year.
IGT announced its first quarter results in London on Monday, early in the day’s trading at the New York Stock Exchange, where IGT is listed. Shares in IGT finished down by about 1.8 percent on Monday and were US$13.83 a share at the close of the trading day.
“Our first quarter results confirm the consistent growth profile of our global lottery business and the progress we’ve made in sales of gaming machines,” IGT chief executive Marco Sala said in prepared comments released with the financial data.
IGT earns the majority of its revenue from its Italian operations, some US$437 million in the first quarter of this year, which includes lottery products and services. First quarter revenue here was down by about 9.5 percent.
The company’s next biggest source of revenue in the first three months of 2019 was from lotteries in North America – US$296 million, flat year-on-year growth – with revenues from IGT’s North American gaming and interactive businesses down by about 1 percent in year-on-year terms to US$240 million.
IGT’s international division – including Asia – generated revenue of US$172 million, down from US$184 million in the same period last year. Revenue from IGT’s international gaming operations fell from US$91 million in the first quarter of 2018, to US$81 million in the first quarter of this year.
IGT says there was a 40.9-percent increase year-on-year in the number of new machines it shipped to international markets last quarter, driven by sales of the Crystal Series cabinets, “especially the Crystal 27 and CrystalCurve,” Mr Sala said on a conference call to announce the results.
The number of slot machines installed in casinos in international markets during the first quarter shrank by 17.4 percent in year-on-year terms, from 12,917 to 10,666. But, overall, the company’s slot-machine sales improved.
“It was a strong quarter for gaming machine shipments. Total global units were 20 percent greater than in the first quarter of 2018,” Mr Sala said.
IGT said it had 33,379 machines installed in casinos around the world at the end of the first quarter, a 7.5-percent fall from the first quarter of last year.
Mr Sala did not mention the company’s performance in Asia and a breakdown of IGT’s performance in Asia was not provided.
The company’s net debt position was largely unchanged at US$7.71 billion as at March 31. It was US$7.76 billion at the end of last year.
The board of directors declared an interim cash dividend of US$0.20 a share on its ordinary shares. The dividend is payable on June 17 to holders of record as of the close of business on June 3.
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”The board believes that the Japan IR project presents a unique opportunity for the company to enhance its growth profile”