IGT puts focus on international sales

International Game Technology sees its slot machine future in international markets.

And the company sees its technological future in San Francisco.

Executives of IGT, whose Reno plant is the largest manufacturing operation in Nevada, told securities analysts last week that they want to boost foreign sales to help smooth the up-and-down cycle of replacing machines on U.S. casino floors.

In the company's fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, IGT shipped 23,100 slots to inter-national markets Latin America and Australia were particularly hot while shipping 18,100 machines to casinos in North America.

Eric Tom, IGT's chief operating officer, said the total shipments of 41,200 machines, which compares with 52,400 a year earlier, reflects the slow economy as well as fierce battles over price.

"The competition is getting very aggressive," he said. "We're not following that path."

IGT also said last week that it's decided to headquarter its new division that develops online and mobile-gaming operations in San Francisco.

For its most recent quarter, IGT reported net income of $19.9 million on revenues of $496 million. This compares with a loss of $28.6 million on revenues of $512.3 million a year earlier.

Patti Hart, the company's chief executive, said IGT today is delivering newly ordered products 20 percent more quickly than it did a year ago.

But she said the company needs to continue its work to cut costs and speed products to market.

"Much of the low-hanging fruit has been harvested," she said. "Challenges still remain."


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