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  • Q1 2024: Light & Wonder grows 13% boosted by the “SciPlay engine”
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Light & Wonder reported another strong quarter in Q1, yet despite its success the supplier stated it is not chasing “flashy” M&A deals.

Topline numbers

In Q1 2024, Light & Wonder generated a 13% year-on-year revenue increase to $756m.

This marked the supplier’s 12th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, driven by strong performance across all lines of business.

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA grew 13% to $281m compared to the prior year period, resulting in a margin of 37% for the quarter.

Gaming revenue increased to $476m, up 14% compared to the prior year period, primarily led by continued growth in gaming machine sales, which grew 30% year-on-year.

Revenue from the firm’s social casino business SciPlay came in at $206m, an 11% increase from Q1 2023, while iGaming revenue increased 14% year-on-year to $74m, with continued momentum in the US and international markets.

Management insights

Light & Wonder president and CEO Matt Wilson expressed satisfaction with the company’s performance, particularly highlighting the success of SciPlay and the iGaming division.

He noted that both segments achieved record revenue levels with consistent double-digit year-on-year growth.

During the earnings call, Wilson also highlighted that Light & Wonder currently commands a market share exceeding 11% in the social casino sector, boasting a player base of around 600,000 and a payer conversion rate surpassing 10%

“The investments we’ve made in our SciPlay engine and user acquisition are bearing fruit, and the results are reflected in the strength of our portfolio of games.

“Meanwhile, average monthly revenue per paying user and average revenue per daily active user once again reached new highs as we continue to execute on our prudent and sustainable monetisation strategy, one that has proven to work very well as we navigate seasonality in the business with favourable results,” he added.

CFO Oliver Chow reiterated the company’s focus on reinvesting in the business to further scale revenue and profitability.

“Given our strong growth and the highly cash generative nature of our business, we plan to further enhance value through our share repurchase programme, while maintaining the rigour of our strategic capital allocation plan,” Chow said.

Future direction

While CEO Wilson said the company is still on track to achieve its target of $1.4bn annual EBITDA by 2025, analysts queried Light & Wonder’s M&A strategy.

Wilson said the current management team was “focused and disciplined.”

“We have a clear north star on who we are, and importantly, who we’re not. I mean, Scientific Games was this wildly diverse portfolio of assets across lottery and sports and content and land-based and digital. We’ve chosen clearly a content strategy.

“We want to be the leading cross-platform global games company. And we’ll look and evaluate every M&A target that supports that mission and vision, but we’re not in a hurry to go and put a huge amount of complexity back into the portfolio.

“I think there are a number of people in the industry dealing with complexity relating to M&A. We’ve been through that, and we’ve done a lot of work to clean up.

“We’ll look at assets that help us project that further on, but not in a huge hurry to do a flashy piece of M&A,” he emphasised.

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