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Aristocrat Numbers Slip

25 August 2005

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: "The days of a raging share price for Aristocrat Leisure and continual earnings upgrades from analysts may have come to an end.

"The stock has had a stellar run in the past year as new management put to bed a chequered past and returned the poker machine maker to better performance. Full-year (2005) net profit guidance of $225 million to $240 million, announced yesterday is now broadly in line with market consensus of $237 million. Aristocrat shares slipped 6 per cent in early trade yesterday before clawing back to close off 11c to $13.28, following the release of its results for the six months to June 30. Under new international accounting standards, net profit for the period ballooned 215 per cent to $101.7 million from $32.7 million in the previous corresponding period.

"However, on a normalised basis this pares back to a 64 per cent increase from $63.3 million to $103.9 million and was in line with company guidance.

"…Sales jumped 84 per cent in the US, but analysts were expecting a greater installation of recurring revenue units (only 345 compared with 1296 in the previous corresponding period).

"…The company, however, sees little reprieve from difficulties brought about by smoking bans, tax increases and a reduction in machine numbers…"

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