The new CEO of Australian slot machine supplier Ainsworth Game Technology says the company will return to profit in the six months through 31 December 2021, reversing losses in each of the past four quarters.
Addressing shareholders at the company’s AGM on Thursday, Harald Neumann – the former Novomatic boss who replaced Lawrence Levy as CEO of Ainsworth in September – said the company was benefiting from both cost savings introduced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and rising fortunes in its American markets.
“Ainsworth is purposefully a different company to the one we were before the pandemic,” he said. “We have deliberately taken advantage of the opportunities available to us over the last year to become more streamlined, more efficient and more competitive. We are well positioned for recovery and growth.”
“I am pleased to report Ainsworth’s momentum in the second half of the last financial year has continued into FY22. Revenue for the first half of FY22 is expected to be ahead both the prior corresponding period and the previous six months. AGT expects to deliver a profit before tax, excluding currency impacts and one-off items, for the first half of FY22 of around AU$10 million (US$7.2 million).
“While domestic markets have been adversely impacted by extended lockdowns, our North American and Latin American operations are delivering growth and improved earnings. Ainsworth’s online activities are also contributing positively following the exclusive distribution partnership announced with GAN Limited [in May].”
Neumann also pointed to an improved cash position compared with this time last year, boosted by a refinanced AU$50 million flexible loan facility, an initial US$5 million payment by GAN for use of Ainsworth content and a US$9.4 million payment from Churchill Downs for the sale of 400 participation machines. As a result, Neumann said, Ainsworth has repaid US$18 million in borrowings since 30 June.
There is return of the company’s dividend program just yet, however, with Chairman Danny Gladstone confirming the payment of dividends remains suspended.