Light & Wonder has heaped praise on the business-wide impacts of a string of investments, with a successful secondary listing on the ASX said to be “gaining momentum with the investment community”.

On May 22, 2023, the company commenced active trading under the LNW ticker symbol, with an enhanced profile across the country and attraction of new long-term institutional investors to complement our strong existing base of shareholders being sought.

Regarding the former, L&W has secured an approximately $500m definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 17 per cent interest in SciPlay, which complements a range of further moves made in recent times. 

The group is not averse to making manoeuvres within the M&A arena, with previous purchases in recent memory including the likes of slot developer’s Lightning Box, ELK Studios and Playzido, as well as live casino supplier Authentic Gaming and loyalty solutions provider House Advantage.

The business also offloaded its lottery division for $5bn to Brookfield Business Partners, with sports betting services provider OpenBet purchased by Endeavour in an $800m deal.

“Our reported numbers continue to validate the investments that we’ve made in our business and demonstrate the significant progress we are making towards our long-term targets,” commented Matt Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Light & Wonder.

“Year to date, we delivered double-digit top and bottom line growth across all three of our businesses, generated strong cash flows and reduced leverage, resulting in an exceptional second quarter. 

“We will continue to execute on our core strategy and product roadmap”

Matt Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Light & Wonder

“I am also pleased to share that Light & Wonder is expanding its global presence, with a successful ASX listing during the quarter that is gaining momentum with the investment community. We will continue to execute on our core strategy and product roadmap.”

The comments come during a second quarter financial breakdown that saw group-wide revenue increase 20 per cent to $731m (2022: $610m), driven by double digit growth across all core reporting segments to secure a ninth consecutive quarterly uptick.

Breaking this figure down, the company’s gaming division took the lion’s share of revenue with $471m, up 21 per cent from $390m year-on-year, driven by ongoing strong momentum. Adjusted EBITDA increased 30 per cent to $233m (2022: $179m).

SciPlay reached another quarterly record with revenue of $190m, an increase of 19 per cent from $160m, while AEBITDA increased 44 per cent to $59m (2022: $41m).

This, the group said, was primarily driven by the core social casino business, which delivered strong payer metrics and “outpaced the market and gained share”.

On the igaming front, revenue and AEBITDA rose 17 per cent and 14 per cent to $70m (2022: $60m) and $24m (2022: $21m), with this aligned to a maintained pace of expansion across the US where the region’s revenue is up 32 per cent YoY. 

Building on the “continued strength in our land-based original content launches and scaling third party aggregation on our platform,” L&W added that it is on track to launch live casino operations in Michigan during the second half of the year.

Net income swung to $5m versus a loss of $150m one year earlier, due to higher revenue and operating income as well as lower interest expense, while AEBITDA increased 33 per cent to $281m (2022: $212m).

“The continued growth we saw in the second quarter reflects the focused execution that is in our DNA”

Connie James, Chief Financial Officer of Light & Wonder

“I am proud to have been part of such a diverse and capable team, and of our many accomplishments during my time here as my tenure comes to an end at Light & Wonder,” noted Connie James, Chief Financial Officer of Light & Wonder. 

“We accomplished a number of meaningful milestones in transforming the company and are now well positioned with a healthy balance sheet and a strategic capital allocation plan. 

“The continued growth we saw in the second quarter reflects the focused execution that is in our DNA. With a wealth of talent, sound financials, and an 2 outstanding portfolio of assets, Light & Wonder continues to be in good hands moving forward as the leading cross platform global games company.”

For the year-to-date, revenue increased 18 per cent to $1.4bn (2022: $1.18bn), with gaming, SciPlay and igaming up 19 per cent, 18 per cent and 12 per cent. The latter pair reached records through Q2. 

Net loss of $217m one year earlier is contrasted to the income of $32m gained through Q2 2023, while AEBITDA closed at $529m, up 28 per cent YoY from $414m.