Aristocrat has stressed a focus on “the significant strategic opportunities in front of us” after reflecting on a six month period that CEO and MD Trevor Croker said demonstrates the group’s “ongoing resilience, competitiveness and diversification”.

The ASX-listed firm has long since stressed its huge ambitions within the real-money gaming space, and Croker reserved space to detail the impacts of a continued investment and growth strategy under the company’s ‘build and buy’ banner.

After meeting an ultimately doomed fate following a long protracted $2.7bn Playtech pursuit, Aristocrat this week entered into a $1.2bn definitive agreement to purchase NeoGames

This complements the momentum built-up by the rebranded Anaxi business, which was detailed by the group in October 2022 and is said to have delivered on its initial market entry commitments and built solid foundations for accelerated growth.

Croker said: “With content agreements signed with partners representing over 55 per cent of the igaming market in the US, we are comfortably on course to exceed our target of penetrating at least 70 per cent of regulated jurisdictions across North America over the next five years.” 

Despite encountering challenging market conditions, Aristocrat has reported revenue growth of 12.2 per cent through the six months ending March 31, 2023, to A$3.1bn (2022: A$2.74bn).

In addition to Anaxi’s momentum, the group put this down to the North American operations and global sales, despite continued supply chain issues and mixed operating conditions across key markets, in the Aristocrat Gaming business.

It is said that Pixel United delivered a “resilient performance in a challenging environment”, which resulted in the segment “outperforming the global mobile games market and continuing to grow share in social casino”.

Elsewhere, net profit after tax recorded a 16.7 per cent uptick to A$619.1m (2022: A$530.7m), while EBITDA closed at A$1.02bn, up 5.7 per cent year-on-year from A$970.3m.

At the end of the time frame in question, Aristocrat updated that it had completed 48 per cent of a A$1bn share buy back program.

Subsequently, this has now been increased by A$500m, with the fresh A$1.5bn ambition set to run until May 31, 2024.

“Our teams faced into considerable economic and political uncertainty during the half, including the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine, and I am tremendously thankful for their efforts,” Croker continued. 

“Looking ahead, we will continue to navigate challenges with a focus on portfolio performance and capturing the significant strategic opportunities in front of us including delivering on our online RMG strategy with the proposed acquisition of NeoGames announced earlier this week.”