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Aristocrat Forecasts Record Year Profit

24 August 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by Bloomberg: "Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of slot machines, forecast record full-year profit on increased sales in Japan, a year after posting a record loss. The stock surged 15 percent.

"Full-year net profit will be between A$115 million and A$135 million (US$96 million), compared with a A$106 million loss last year, the Sydney-based company said in a statement.

"…Aristocrat stock rose 81 cents to A$6.20 at 11:29 a.m. in Sydney and has more than tripled this year, making it the best performing member of the benchmark index. Chief Executive Paul Oneile, appointed in November, is boosting sales in Japan and Macau to counter falling sales at home, where limits on slot machines and smoking bans in pubs has curbed gambling.

"…The stock slumped 63 percent last year, the worst performance on the S&P ASX 200 index, when a failed Colombian contract and lower- than-expected U.S. sales led to the loss and the dismissal of Des Randall as chief executive…"

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