Slot machine giant Aristocrat Leisure has announced record earnings for the full year ended 30 September 2017, with revenue up 15.3% to AU$2.45 billion and EBITDA rising 24.2% to AU$1 billion.
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange, Aristocrat credited “a higher quality of earnings and growth across strategic recurring revenue segments” for the results, which represented its highest annual revenue figure ever.
They included a 17.4% increase in operating cash flow to AU$799.1 million, with net profit after tax and before amortisation up 36.5% to AU$543.4 million.
“Aristocrat delivered high quality results over the 2017 fiscal year, against a backdrop of mostly flat markets and increasing competitive pressure,” said CEO and Managing Director Trevor Croker. “Industry leading content, hardware and technology, coupled with effective execution focused on our highest value opportunities once again underpinned our performance.
“Further growth in our core recurring revenue segments of gaming operations and digital social casino was particularly pleasing, with 52% of group revenues deriving from recurring sources during the year as well as growth in outright sales over the period,. This represents further progress in ensuring Aristocrat delivers sustainable returns and cash flow over time, consistent with our strategy and shareholders’ interests.
“During the reporting period, Aristocrat invested behind our core business while also making progress in unlocking attractive growth opportunities in adjacent markets and segments.
“Going forward, Aristocrat will continue to target high quality growth, with the benefit of our established performance momentum, broadening capabilities, strong balance sheet and growing recurring revenue base.”
The company announced that it will pay a dividend per share of AU$0.34, up from AU$0.20 in 2016.
Aristocrat acquires Big Fish Games
In a separate filing on Thursday morning, Aristocrat announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% of social gaming company Big Fish Games, Inc for a total consideration of US$990 million in cash, subject to customary completion adjustments.
Big Fish, a wholly owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Incorporated (Churchill Downs), is a global publisher of free-to-play games that operates across three key business lines focused on specific game segments, including Social Casino, Social Gaming and Premium Paid games.
Big Fish is headquartered in Seattle, USA, has approximately 700 full-time employees and five in-house development studios in Seattle and Oakland, USA.
The company’s largest social casino application “Big Fish Casino” is a top ranking social casino application globally with industry leading user monetization levels. Big Fish’s social gaming titles “Gummy Drop!” and “Fairway Solitaire” are also the number 10 and number six games in the casual and card game categories respectively.
Big Fish reported adjusted revenue of US$458 million and Adjusted EBITDA of US$83 million for the 12 months to 30 September 2017.
Aristocrat said that Big Fish will operate as a standalone business alongside Product Madness and Plarium, “minimizing scope for disruption to Aristocrat’s existing businesses.”