Danny Gladstone (pictured), chief executive of Australian slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd, said that trading for the first half fiscal 2018 – a period due to end on December 31 – had been “adversely affected by regulatory delays in Australia, lower unit sales in Asia compared to the prior calendar period and a temporary deterioration in margin in North America based on sales mix changes”.
His comments were made in an address to shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting in Sydney, New South Wales, on Tuesday.
He added: “Pre-tax profit, excluding foreign exchange impacts, is expected to be down on the prior calendar period.”
In fiscal first half 2017, Ainsworth Game reported net profit after tax of AUD20.6 million (US$15.7 million).
But Mr Gladstone added in his outlook summary on Tuesday that Ainsworth Game was confident that pre-tax profit – excluding foreign exchange impacts – would increase year-on-year in the second half of fiscal 2018.
“Overall, our profit expectations for the year as a whole remain unchanged given the strong second half outlook.” He added: “We will provide a further update to the market at the time of our half year results in February.”
An investor presentation filed on Tuesday to the Australian Securities Exchange reiterated that fiscal 2017 sales in the “rest of the world” segment – i.e., excluding the home market of Australia and North America – had benefited from a “good contribution” from Austria-based partner Novomatic AG.
In its fiscal 2017 results, filed in August, Ainsworth Game had said segment revenue for the rest of the world was AUD28.1 million (US$21.5 million), an increase of 54 percent compared to the previous year. Segmental profit was 50 percent higher, at AUD15.1 million, the firm had stated.
In its Tuesday filing, Ainsworth Game reiterated Novomatic had contributed AUD11.4 million in sales and AUD5.5 million in segmental profit for the rest of the world segment during fiscal 2017.
In October Ainsworth Game had said it expected the tie-up with Novomatic to be formalised later this year, with the completion of the regulatory approval process.
Ainsworth Game had said in June last year that its shareholders had approved the sale of a majority stake in the business – controlled by its founder Len Ainsworth – to Novomatic.
Tuesday’s AGM for Ainsworth Game was the first with its new non-executive chairman Graeme Campbell, who has taken over the chairmanship from Mr Ainsworth.
“Our strategy has been to expand and diversify our offerings to the global gaming market,” said Mr Campbell in his statement to stockholders.
“Pleasingly, we reported ongoing growth in international markets in financial year 2017 with revenues up 2 percent on the prior corresponding period. International revenues now account for 74 percent of the total group revenue,” the chairman added.
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"The stronger mass growth [in Macau in the second quarter] should be viewed positively vis- à-vis [the] government’s stated priority”
Japanese brokerage Nomura