Light & Wonder saw 2022 as a turning point in its transformation and rebranding efforts. Matt Wilson , the new global gaming company’s CEO, was particularly happy with the momentum that it had built as its gaming and igaming businesses showed signs of recovery after the Covid pandemic.
Light & Wonder published its Q4 financial results and 2022 financial results . Fourth-quarter revenues were $628m, an 18% increase year-over-year. Full-year turnover climbed to $2.51bn. This was 17% more than the previous year. SciPlay also saw record revenues and the gaming unit closed at pre-Covid levels.
Light & Wonder showing strong momentum following rebrand
The gaming unit, which was L&W’s most profitable division, generated $1.6bn annually in revenue. This 21% increase is due to strong gaming machine sales and operations that surpassed 2019 levels.
The SciPlay unit saw revenues of $671m YoY, an increase of 11%. This included a quarterly record for Q4. Finaly, igaming revenues increased by 6% YoY to $240m
L&W’s EBITDA for 2022 was $913 million, an increase of 15% due to increased revenues across the board. This is a sign that the company has good signs of growth after divestiture.
Matt Wilson was President and CEO. He said that 2022 was a pivotal years for Light & Wonder. While delivering on an ambitious, transformative plan, we achieved operational success and double-digit business growth.
“We are optimistic about the future of the company and expect strong momentum to continue in the coming year. We are able to deliver on our product roadmap and capitalize on the huge opportunities ahead, thanks to our industry-leading talent, technology, and games.
Online casino is big in the USA
Light & Wonder’s 2022 success was largely due to its igaming business unit, which saw a 15% rise in revenues and a 27% increase in EBITDA.
According to the firm, this was due to strong online casino performance in America which is experiencing’strong growth momentum.
L&W reported that online casino saw 41% growth thanks to the expansion of its aggregation platform. Despite the negative impact of foreign currency translation, the online casino platform saw an increase in wagers to $19.1bn during the fourth quarter.
One year of transformation
Light & Wonder completed its divestment in the last year of its lottery and sports betting business to improve its balance sheet.
The lottery business was purchased by Brookfield Business Partners at a price of $5bn. While the sports betting business, OpenBet was transferred to Endeavour at a cost of $800m.
The firm paid off approximately $4.8bn in debt by 2022. This reduced the outstanding debt by 55% to $3.9bn at the close of the year.
Light & Wonder lost $176 million in the year 2021, despite a strong balance sheet, increased topline, and EBITDA growth.
This was due to 2021 comparisons, which gained financially from an Income Tax Benefit as a result a reversal in its valuation allowance on Deferred Taxes. In the current period, there was a $147m loss in debt financing transactions.
Connie James is Chief Financial Officer at Light & Wonder. She said: “We are proud to have made such rapid progress over the last 18 months. As we focus on shareholder value, we delivered high-quality earnings. This is the basis for future sustainable growth.
We also returned substantial capital to our shareholders, totaling $413 million since the announcement of our share repurchase program a year ago. Now we have a solid balance sheet and a clear plan to move with discipline on our balanced, opportunistic capital allocation strategy and raise Light & Wonder’s value proposition.