Ainsworth takes a hit in 2020, but sees improvement coming

By now, no one can be surprised to learn that any company attached to the gaming industry suffered losses last year because of COVID-19. The global pandemic sent revenue into the gutter for a strong majority of the operators in the ecosystem, with only the hope that things would turn around quickly keeping some of them alive. Ainsworth Game Technology, the Australian games developer, wasn’t the exception, according to its latest financial update. It took a massive hit in the second half of the year, but has begun to see a turnaround it hopes will remain intact.Ainsworth reported today its preliminary results for the last half of 2020, indicating that it will more than likely report losses of around $10.8 million for the period. The final numbers will be available around February 25 following an audit, but the company expects to find that its legs were kicked out from under it by the coronavirus. However, despite taking a beating, the company forecasts positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $4.6 million. This comes thanks to an increase of 71% in revenue across the half compared to the first six months of the year. Overall, the performance is 33% lower than it had been a year earlier. Even though the large U.S. gaming market shut down for a few months last year, Ainsworth was able to take advantage of reopenings seen in the second half to buoy its numbers. The company points out that the North American market gave it the most support, as revenue increased from $16.3 million in the first half of the year to $31.7 million in the second. It added, “Improved participation and lease revenue contributed 40% of the current period’s revenue, an increase of 10% on the [2019 period]. AGT’s Historical Horse Racing products continue to positively contribute to revenues within this segment.”In its domestic backyard, Ainsworth also saw improvement. Its Australian operations shot up 118% from the first to the second half, with the last six months of 2020 contributing $14.7 million. Another of its areas didn’t perform as well, though, with Latin American operations stumbling. Ainsworth explained, “Given the uncertainties and deferrals of purchasing decisions caused by the pandemic within this region, further reductions in revenues are expected in the short term before a return to pre-pandemic activity levels, impacting [the] timing of expected cash flows. Based on this, the Group is reviewing the recoverable amount of the Latin American Cash Generating Unit (CGU). This review is ongoing to determine the financial impact and a material non-cash impairment charge is anticipated for the Latin American CGU.”

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