AAP Finance

Aristocrat HY profit down 14% due to virus

By AAP Newswire

Aristocrat Leisure's half-year profit has fallen 14.2 per cent as casinos, pubs and clubs closed because of coronavirus restrictions.

The gaming provider's net profit after tax to March 31 was $305.9 million and it says venues stopped spending once required to close to stop the spread of the virus.

The Aussie business sells machines across the world and in some US states can lease machines to venues for a percentage of the takings.

As the world tries to resume trade, Aristocrat expects most of its 989 US venue customers to be open again by next month.

In Australia, Aristocrat expects about 5,000 venue customers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland to open by July.

Most of its 1,000 venue customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa may not open until September.

However, the digital distribution of games more than made up for the loss of revenue.

Digital revenue climbed 19 per cent compared with the previous corresponding period.

This lifted group venue higher by 7.0 per cent on the previous first half to $2.25 billion.

While Aristocrat began by manufacturing gaming machines, it also produces video games.

These gain revenue by offering gamers the chance to buy weapons or play more levels.

Fantasy game Raid: Shadow Legends, for mobile devices and PCs, had been particularly successful.

Shareholders will not be paid a dividend.

Shares were down by more than 2.0 per cent to $26.69 at 1420 AEST.

The shares have fallen more than 18 per cent since January 1 amid a wider market downturn.