IGT: we expect to return to 2019 levels for key financial metrics this year

International Game Technology has lauded robust player demand and significant structural cost savings, as the group says it expects to be back at 2019 levels for key financial metrics this year.

Following the completion of the sale of its Italian B2C gaming business to Gamenet Group for €950m, the group recorded 25 per cent revenue growth to $1.01bn (2020: $814m),  which represents an 11.3 per cent drop from 2019’s $1.14bn.

Global lottery revenue of $749m is up 48 per cent year-on-year from $505m, driven by 32.4 per cent growth in same-store sales. Gaming dropped 14 per cent YoY to $266m (2020: $310m), but is up 4.3 per cent from Q4 2020’s $255m as “US gaming markets continue to recover”.

Operating income for the period ending March 31, 2021, finished up at $260m compared to a loss of $218m one year earlier, primarily due to a 133 per cent lottery rise to $337m (2020: $144m) as gaming’s loss widened to $19m (2020: -$6m). The prior year period also included a goodwill impairment of $296m.

Net income attributable to IGT was $92m versus a net loss of $248m in 2020, with adjusted EBITDA up 72 per cent to close at $450m (2020: $261m). Lottery climbed 84 per cent to $447m (2020: $243m), and gaming finished 39 per cent down at $19m (2020: $31m).

“With the recovery in our business in full swing, we are delivering strong operating leverage which, when coupled with invested capital discipline, drove strong cash flows in the quarter,” said Max Chiara, CFO of IGT.

“This enabled us to accelerate our debt retirement strategy and gives us confidence in a return to pre-pandemic leverage levels by the end of the current year.”

Furthermore, IGT also closed Italian B2C gaming machine, sports betting, and digital gaming businesses for a cash purchase price of €950m, to a subsidiary of funds managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, namely Gamenet Group.

Of that price, €725m was paid at closing, €100m is payable on December 31, 2021, and the remaining €125m is due on September 30, 2022. IGT has said that the proceeds will primarily be used for debt reduction.

“We delivered some of our strongest profit results ever during the first quarter, fueled by robust player demand and significant, structural cost savings,” added Marco Sala, CEO of IGT. “Our global lottery segment achieved record same-store sales levels on impressive increases around the world. 

“The global gaming segment is demonstrating swift, progressive recovery, including accelerated momentum for digital and betting activities. We expect to return to 2019 levels for key financial metrics this year.”

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