By Ian Neubauer

Gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat has announced it expects to report an operating profit after tax of approximately $70 million for the six months ending June 30.

The company’s full year earnings is currently forecast at $190 to $200 million, with earnings per share forecast to come in at 41 to 44 cents.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Aristocrat said the result was “significantly impacted by deteriorating economic conditions in North America and Australia, the timing of new venue openings in emerging markets and the strengthening Australian dollar”.

The announcement coincided with news that Aristocrat CEO, Paul Oneile, will not seek a renewal of his contract when it expires on December 31.

Aristocrat chairman, David Simpson, thanked Oneile for his strong leadership since his appointment in 2003.

“Mr Oneile has led Aristocrat through a period of significant structural change and position the company favourably for future opportunities and challenges,” he said, adding that the board will commence a global search to replace Oneile but will consider internal candidates for the job.

Aristocrat shares have lost 20 per cent of their value over the past week, sliding from $6.35 on July 23 to $5.12 at midday today (July 30). 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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