Shuffle Master Inc. saw its Q4 earnings rise 71%, spurred on by stronger sales in its electronic gaming segment. For the quarter ending Oct. 31, the Las Vegas-based gaming equipment provider saw revenues rise 12% to $65.7m, with profits coming in at $9.7m. Revenues at Shuffle Master’s electronic gaming segment rose 20%, thanks in part to those new racetrack casinos in New York State needing something to fill their floor space. Product leases and royalties were up 13% and product sales and services increased by 11%.
Things were equally rosy for Shuffle Master’s 2011 fiscal year. Revenues hit $227.8m, a 13% bump over 2010. Adjusted EBITDA rose 20% to $74.7m, while net debt was $17.1m — $39.2m lower than 2010 and the lowest its been since 2003. CEO Gavin Isaacs said the figures for the quarter and the fiscal year were “record breakers … by nearly every financial metric we use.” CFO Lin Fox highlighted the company’s 70% reduction in debt, which he believes “gives us the flexibility to take advantage of any opportunities we find attractive.”
Such opportunities include this month’s launch of Shuffle Interactive, featuring online versions of the company’s proprietary table games and slots accessible via computer or mobile devices at shufflemaster.com. The first game to be made available will be Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, with Three Card Poker and other games following suit. The US version will be (for the moment) free-play versions, but Shuffle Master is amassing gaming licenses in international jurisdictions that will allow players in those countries to play for cold hard digital cash. Sounding not unlike a young James T. Kirk, Shuffle Master’s Chief Strategy Officer Louis Castle told PittsburghLive.com that online was “the next frontier for gaming,” and that the company would be “working with other people’s sites as well, and ultimately applications for mobile and social networks.”