Ainsworth CEO flags US$11mln loss for 6 months to Dec 31

Ainsworth CEO flags US$11mln loss for 6 months to Dec 31

Australia-based slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd expects an AUD15-million (US$11-million) pre-tax loss in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which ends on December 31 this year, says its chief executive Lawrence Levy (pictured in a file photo).

“We cautiously expect the challenging market conditions experienced” up to June 30 this year, “to continue in the first half, fiscal year 2021,” said Mr Levy, referring to the effects on the firm and its casino-sector customers of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a result, for first half fiscal-year 2021, we expect to report a loss before tax for the group, excluding the impacts of foreign exchange and one-off items, of approximately AUD15 million which is in line with the company’s expectations given the effect of the September quarter,” he added.

“Our focus remains on protecting Ainsworth Game should a protracted downturn eventuate across global markets,” the CEO also noted.

Mr Levy gave the commentary in an address to shareholders for the group’s annual general meeting on Thursday, outlining for the most part the past fiscal year’s performance.

In August, the firm had said that for the 2020 fiscal year – ending June 30 – it had a AUD43.4-million loss, compared to a prior-year profit of AUD10.9 million. The firm also said it cut 107 posts during fiscal year 2020.

In his Thursday remarks, the Ainsworth Game CEO noted that a company loan facility with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd had been “initially reduced to AUD60 million and has been restructured, with previous covenants being replaced with maintenance of minimum liquidity levels and quarterly sales targets”.

As of the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 – ending on September 30 this year – Ainsworth Game had “met these covenants with an expectation that the first half of fiscal year 2021 is on track with our forecasted financial performance”. His speech filed on Thursday to the Australian Securities Exchange, didn’t specify any numbers in that regard.

Mr Levy nonetheless added: “We remain focused on ensuring that our liquidity and balance sheet strengthen during this challenging time.”

In commentary filed last month, Danny Gladstone, the group’s chairman, had said the firm would not reinstate dividends for shareholders until the group’s “markets become more predictable”.

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