By Mike Cherney
SYDNEY--Australia-based slots manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. said statutory net profit in the fiscal first half rose sharply due to the recognition of a deferred tax asset, but it suspended its dividend amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said statutory net profit rose 277% to 1.3 billion Australian dollars (US$860 million) in the six months through March, including the tax benefit valued at A$1 billion tied to structural changes at the company.
But a measure of normalized net profit, which strips out one-time items including the tax benefit, fell 13% to A$368 million. Operating revenue rose by 7% to about A$2.2 billion, reflecting a 6% decline in land-based revenue but a 19% increase in digital revenue.
The company said the suspension of its dividend enhances its liquidity position and balance sheet amid economic disruption caused by the pandemic. Casinos worldwide have been closed to try to stop the spread of the virus.
Aristocrat didn't offer any specific guidance for the rest of the fiscal year.
"In land-based, we will execute our ambitious plans to partner and grow with our customers as conditions improve," said Chief Executive Trevor Croker. "And in digital, we will accelerate execution of our portfolio-based growth strategy as we further mature and scale the organization."
Write to Mike Cherney at email@example.com