Danny Gladstone (pictured in a file photo), the chairman of Australia-listed slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd, says the firm will not reinstate dividends for shareholders until the group’s “markets become more predictable”.
Mr Gladstone said in the firm’s final annual report filed on Tuesday, and referring to the disruption to casino-sector business across the world due to Covid-19: “Given the effects of the pandemic, the board has prudently decided to place the dividend policy on hold.”
The company had noted in late August, in its preliminary annual results for the fiscal year to June 30, that it had suspended such payouts.
Ainsworth Game had reported a 12-month loss amounting to AUD43.4 million (US$30.9 million), compared to a prior-year profit of AUD10.9 million. The firm also said it cut 107 posts during the reporting period.
Lawrence Levy, the firm’s chief executive, said in the final report that during the “downtime” occasioned by the pandemic, the group set up its “entire workforce to work remotely, maintaining daily contact with management, establishing new game feature parameters and creating a pipeline of new, innovative and intuitive core products”.
The CEO added: “Looking to fiscal year 2021 and beyond, I consider that the company is in a strong position to recover.”
He noted: “We had just launched our new A-Star cabinets in February 2020, prior to the global lockdown. We are now starting to roll out this hardware regionally, with Australia, North and Latin America already receiving positive feedback and strong performance numbers from our initial installations.”
In early September it was announced that Ainsworth Game was to act as a sales and service provider in Asia Pacific for products of Austria-based casino equipment supplier Novomatic AG. It was also stated that Robert Dijkstra, lately Novomatic vice president of business development and sales for Asia Pacific, had been appointed as Ainsworth Game vice president of business development and sales for Asia Pacific.
Mr Levy said in the annual report that such collaboration was “expected to create new revenue streams” for Ainsworth Game.
In early 2018, Novomatic completed the acquisition of a 52-percent stake in Australia-listed Ainsworth Game, according to a filing at the time to the Australian bourse.
Ainsworth Game’s CEO noted in his remarks in the fiscal year report that the company had “signed agreements with several new, third-party distributors in both Asia and Europe” in order to “mitigate the declining profits” within the firm’s ‘rest of the world’ segment – encompassing Asia Pacific excluding Australia.
Mr Levy also said that Ainsworth Game would be increasing its “strategic cooperation” with Novomatic via “new distribution channels, shared technical expertise and online interactive synergies.”
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