Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting earlier today (24 February), Croker said Aristocrat had experienced an “encouraging” start to the 2023 financial year, with gaming performing particularly well in North America.
Croker said that from a macroeconomic perspective, Aristocrat continues to closely monitor possible impacts on consumer sentiment from elevated inflation and higher interest rates, as well as the evolution of supply chains. However, he said the business is well positioned to work with its customers and suppliers to manage these uncertainties.
“Group performance in the current financial year has been encouraging, and in line with our plans to date,” Croker said. “Gaming has started the year positively, particularly in North America, where our major customers’ capital commitments remain supportive.”
Focusing on specific areas of the business, Croker said the Pixel United mobile social gaming arm had been resilient in the opening weeks of 2023, despite a challenging second half of 2022 for the wider mobile market.
“While this base effect is impacting year on year growth comparisons, the overall mobile games market has continued to consolidate, without any further overall deterioration evident at this time,” Croker said.
In terms of the Anaxi real-money gaming business, this division was recently strengthened with the acquisition of Roxor Gaming, which closed earlier than expected. Croker said Roxor’s remote game server and content publishing technology will accelerate Anaxi’s strategy to grow in the igaming market.
Roxor is currently live in the UK and New Jersey in the US, with a planned launch in Ontario in Canada due to take place before the end of the first quarter.
Aristocrat last week also extended its content agreement with BetMGM, with Croker saying the group expects to announce a further agreement shortly and similar deals with other business over the course of the year.
In addition, Anaxi is close to launching a first-of-its-kind mobile on-premises solution for a tribal gaming operator, with the offering due to live with the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma in the first quarter.
Based on these developments and growth in the previous year, Croker said that Aristocrat can restate guidance to deliver year-on-year NPATA – net profit after tax, adjusted to exclude the non-cash tax-effected amortisation of intangibles and significant non-operating items – growth in 2023.
This, he said, reflects continued strong revenue and profit growth from Aristocrat Gaming, lower growth in bookings and profit from Pixel United, and further investment in Anaxi, to support its online real-money gaming ambitions.
“In summary, the 2022 financial year was another successful one for Aristocrat, highlighting the benefit of the consistent implementation of our growth strategy,” Croker said. “Focusing on what we can control, our strategy is anchored in improving our own business and competitiveness – no matter what external challenges we face.”
Meanwhile, Aristocrat revealed that only one of the resolutions proposed at its AGM was rejected. The proposal to appoint Stephen Mayne as a non-board endorsed director was turned down.
However, proposals to re-elect Philippe Etienne, Pat Ramsey and Kathleen Conlon as directors were approved, as was the election of Bill Lance as a director.