Aristocrat shares are on a tear

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Aristocrat Leisure expects to report a 66% lift in profit of $183 million for the half-year to March, well ahead of market expectations.

And the gaming machine operator forecasts it will do the same again in the second half.

A short time ago, its shares were up 11% to $11.65.

The strong performance is driven by significant market share and profit growth across core markets, including US premium gaming operations, Australian sales and digital social media gaming.

“Our focus on growing share and profitability by investing in compelling product portfolios, targeted to priority segments and supported by improving execution, is delivering tangible and sustained results, despite generally flat and highly competitive market conditions,” says CEO Jamie Odell.

The half-year result remains subject to completion of the accounting review process by external auditors. Aristocrat plans to release the results on May 26.

Last year, Aristocrat returned to profit, posting a statutory result of $186.43 million for the 12 months, up from a $16.4 million loss.

Its digital business is growing fast. Revenue for digital grew 145.3% to $123.4 million in the 2015 year after launching its flagship Heart of Vegas app on mobile platforms and on Facebook.

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