Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL)
reported an impressive 24% surge in net profit to over $1.2 billion in the 12 months ending in September, resulting in a 23% increase in dividends for shareholders.
The company announced on Tuesday that shareholders will receive a final dividend of 34 cents per share, up from 26 cents the previous year, bringing the full-year payout to 64 cents per share, compared to 52 cents previously.
Aristocrat attributed its higher profit to a 13% increase in revenue, reaching nearly $6.3 billion. This led to EBITDA rising nearly 14% to a record $2.105 billion, with normalized margins increasing from 33.25% to 33.4% compared to the previous year.
Company directors stated that these results were achieved due to a superior product portfolio, ongoing investment, and consistent execution, despite mixed conditions in some key segments.
CEO Trevor Croker highlighted the resilience, competitiveness, and diversification of the company's portfolio. He emphasized the success of Aristocrat's growth strategy and the benefits of strategic investments, especially in the Gaming segment.
Croker also noted that the company had maintained strong free cash flow generation, which was used to fund both organic and inorganic growth. Additionally, $811 million in surplus cash was returned to shareholders through dividends and on-market share buybacks during the period, aligning with the company's capital allocation framework.
Looking ahead, Croker stated that the company would continue to focus on portfolio performance and pursue strategic opportunities, including the proposed acquisition of NeoGames to further advance their online Real Money Gaming (RMG) strategy, which is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2024.