Sci Games 4Q profits up, to rename Light & Wonder
Online casino and gaming equipment provider Scientific Games Corp said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders was $95 million, compared with a net loss of $90 million a year earlier. The company also announced that it would rebrand itself as Light & Wonder Inc in the second quarter of this year, as “the culmination of a year-long strategic process” of restructuring.
The group said it was “moving rapidly to implement its vision with a singular goal of being the world’s leading cross-platform games company”.
Scientific Games announced in October sale of its lottery business to Brookfield Business Partners LP, for total consideration of US$6.05 billion. In September, the group also separated from its sports betting business – including its sports betting platform OpenBet – for $1 billion in cash and $200 million in shares of Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, a sports and entertainment company.
In a press release on Tuesday, Scientific Games said it expected the sale of the lottery business to be “closed in March,” providing approximately US$5 billion in net cash proceeds. The deal to sell the sports betting business was set to close in the second quarter of 2022, he added.
The statement quotes Jamie Odell, executive chairman of Scientific Games, as saying that the group “recognized the tremendous opportunity to generate increased shareholder value by restructuring the balance sheet, redefining the portfolio and becoming a sustainable growth company.”
He added: “We are already seeing the early stages of the strategy successfully executed and with the announced divestitures the company will immediately transition from a debt to an equity story and achieve debt significantly below the levels we undertook in our investment thesis.”
Scientific Games said it is now aiming for a net debt leverage ratio of between 2.5 and 3.5 times. It also authorized a three-year, $750 million share buyback program.
Barry Cottle, president and CEO of Scientific Games, said in prepared remarks that the group expects to “spend more than 90% of lottery proceeds on debt repayment.”
He added: “Operationally, we are very pleased with our strong performance in the quarter, which capped off an outstanding year, as we delivered double-digit revenue growth. and earnings, and generated substantial cash flow while laying the foundation for future growth”.
Revenue growth, EBITDA
The company said total revenue for the three months to Dec. 31 was US$580 million, up from US$480 million a year earlier.
The group’s consolidated quarterly adjusted profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 67.4% year-on-year to $216 million.
Gaming segment revenue, including casino slots, electronic table games and systems, was US$372 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to US$286 million in the same period of the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA increased to US$186 million from US$103 million in the last quarter of 2020.
The company said it sold 5,629 units of gaming machines in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 8,336 a year earlier. These shipments included 2,140 units sold in the international market, including Asia Pacific, compared to 5,784 machines in the prior year quarter. The average price for overall sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 was US$17,392, compared to US$10,130 a year ago.
For the full year 2021, Scientific Games reported net income of US$371 million, compared to a loss of US$569 million in 2020. That was on revenue that reached US$2.15 billion. US$, compared to US$1.70 billion in 2020. Adjusted EBITDA for 2021 was US$793 million, an increase of 112.0% over the prior year.
As of December 31, the company’s total debt was US$8.69 billion. The group noted that it paid off $577 million in debt in 2021.