Aristocrat cuts back on staff

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Aristocrat’s financial forecast bumped up after strong digital performance

Gaming giant Aristocrat Leisure will cut staff and impose pay cuts on employees and management as it copes with the fallout from coronavirus imposed lockdowns.

The Australian also reports the poker machine manufacturer won’t declare a dividend.

1000 staff are being stood down from May 1 until June, while the gaming manufacturer will be eliminating another 200 roles and transitioning another 200 jobs to part-time until September.

An Aristocrat Leisure spokeswoman says most of the stood down roles are in the United States, where the company has the bulk of its workforce.

The spokeswoman also said it has stood down “a few hundred” workers in Australia.

It is also cutting the pay of 1500 of its 4000 staff until the end of September.

Most of the pay cuts are from 10 to 20 per cent, while chief executive Trevor Croker takes a 30 per cent reduction in his base salary.

Mr Croker made $1.6 million in 2019, plus another $4 million in bonuses and share-based payments, according to the company’s annual report.

On Monday, the gaming company said it would apply for the JobKeeper employment subsidy to protect as many jobs as possible in Australia and was working to determine its eligibility for government stimulus measures in the United States.

“We are very sensitive to the impact of cost reduction measures on our people and we will work hard to support them through this difficult time,” Mr Croker said.

Online gains to be had for Aristocrat

The company usually earns an average of A$78.77 a day from each of its 48,218 gaming machines across North America, for an average daily haul of about A$3.8 million, but almost all its land-based customers have suspended operations.

“While highly uncertain, at this stage, Aristocrat anticipates that venue reopenings will take place on a phased basis, with a gradual ramping up of gaming floors in line with improvements in consumer confidence and the wind back of social distancing and travel limitations over time,” the company said.

But its digital business, where Aristocrat derived 40 per cent of its revenue from, has performed strongly during the lockdowns, with higher books and player engagement.

The company’s digital games include the fantasy role-playing game Raid: Shadow Legends as well as digital casino games.

Aristocrat bullish amid coronavirus panic

Top performing gambling regions around the world have been temporarily shuttered due to coronavirus.

Included are locations like Macau and Las Vegas Strip that experience loss of several hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some countries have already requested bailout measures like the USA and UK, LCB reports, but it is likely gambling operators will need additional support.

One of the top-rated producers of gaming equipment and Australia-based operator Aristocrat, has just expressed its readiness to face the consequences of coronavirus.

Aristocrat has just released a statement to alleviate concerns regarding the potential decrease in revenues and possible effect to its clients.

The report has been submitted to the Australian Securities Exchange, claiming the full recognition of expected declines which will be overcome through the well-though business model.

In a statement, the group said its fundamentals continue to underpin its strategy and long-term confidence.

“Aristocrat has a conservatively geared balance sheet, with a net EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) ratio of 1.4x (as of September 30, 2019).

“In addition, Aristocrat’s term loan facility is not due until October 2024 and is covenant lite, providing significant financial flexibility.”

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