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Aristocrat Shocks with Warnings

18 November 2003

MELBOURNE, Australia – As reported by Reuters: "Slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd (Australia:ALL.AX) delivered its fourth profit warning of the year on Tuesday due to problems in Australia and North America, knocking nearly 20 percent off its share price.

"The Australian company said it expected lower second-half profits in its two biggest markets, shocking investors who had been expecting its performance to improve after a steep first-half loss.

"…It said the Australian market remained tough as a possible extension of a smoking ban and restrictions on gaming hours have led its customers to order fewer machines.

"Its North American business was hurt because a new computerised casino management system had yet to deliver some of the benefits that Aristocrat had promised some customers.

"…The company, whose shares have fallen 56 percent this year, had previously said it expected cost savings and new game approvals to help improve performance next year, but had given little specific second-half guidance…"

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