The chairman of Aristocrat Leisure, Neil Chatfield, has told shareholders that 2020 was a “uniquely challenging” year.
“As shareholders will be well aware, the 2020 financial year was uniquely challenging for many businesses – including Aristocrat,” he said in a report released today.
“I therefore wish to begin by thanking our people – more than 6,000 of them around the world – whose efforts across the year were nothing short of extraordinary.”
“Our people responded to the challenges with resilience and goodwill. They adapted to the profound impacts wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic on their own lives, families and communities, while never failing to look out for each other, our customers, our players and our business.
“These efforts, together with effective leadership from our senior management and the support of an engaged board, steered Aristocrat through the peak of the crisis with no loss of competitiveness, underlying momentum or engagement.
“In conjunction with our dedicated workforce, Aristocrat committed ourselves to being a central part of the recovery process for our customers, players and partners around the world and the communities in which we operate.
“A group NPATA result of $476.6m for the 2020 fiscal year was 47 per cent lower in reported terms than the $894.4m delivered in the 12-month period to September 30.
“While the group was on track to deliver growth in line with our plans pre-pandemic, financial results for the full year were materially impacted by Covid-related customer venue closures, and the implementation of social distancing measures that have been in place across our global gaming business.
“This impact was partly offset by excellent growth in our Aristocrat Digital business, which was another tangible demonstration of the benefits of our long-term strategy to diversify our revenue base.
“Despite the impacts of Covid, across the year, Aristocrat enhanced our financial fundamentals and further accelerated our underlying operational momentum.”