Australian poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure is looking for further acquisitions following exceptional half-year results propelled by its Lightning Link and Britney Spears purchases as well as its success on the North American casino market. The gaming powerhouse saw its shares boosted by almost 60% during the last twelve months, with its net profit for the first half of this year growing by 66%, say reports.
The company, who reported a net profit of $183.2 million for the first half of the year its now reporting dividends of 10¢ per share, says it has just experienced its tenth consecutive period of growth.
Aristocrat’s CEO Jamie Odell said the company was planning on growing the business instead of focusing only on capital returns. Mr Odell said: “At this point we don’t feel pressure from shareholders to turn into a high dividend, high yield stock. They are actually continuing to say the business is in very strong shape, keep your optionality, don’t go crazy on the dividend or on the balance sheet at the moment because we are very well placed to take advantage of opportunities that are going along.”
The chief executive said investors had every reason to be satisfied with their returns. The company’s share price has risen by 51% over the last twelve months. He said: “Most of our shareholders tend to think of us in terms of total shareholder return and clearly they have seen significant share price accretion in the course of the last 12 months, which combined with the dividend growth, means it has been a very high performing TSR stock on the ASX.”
Experts predict that the company will be looking for relatively modest deals when it comes to acquisitions. It’s thought that any deals will involve figures of below $200 million. The company has seen significant growth following the 2012 purchase of Product Madness. New South Wales is said to have more gambling machines than any other part of the world bar Nevada. Gambling makes up 1.2% of Australia’s GDP. It’s said that Australia spends more money on gambling than any other country.