FDJ sees good post-lockdown performance

French giant FDJ says stakes have returned to 2019 levels.
French giant FDJ says stakes have returned to 2019 levels.

The French operator’s revenue for the first half was down by 10.1 per cent but stakes returned to 2019 levels by mid-June.

France.- The French gaming operator, La Française des Jeux (FDJ), says it is pleased with its recovery since the lifting of lockdown despite a decline in revenue for the first half of the financial year.

The operator’s first interim results since entry to the Paris Euronext exchange show the pandemic wiped out momentum gained early in the year, with revenue for the six months ending June 30 falling 10.1 per cent year-on-year to €849million.

That was the result of a 18.4 per cent decline in wagers to €6.90billion. 

But the operator said it saw a recovery after the government began lifting lockdown restrictions in mid-May, and particularly after the return of live sports and its Amigo lottery game on June 8.

Until France entered lockdown on March 16, stakes had been up 5 per cent year-on-year, before dropping 60 per cent. But the operator said that stakes had returned to 2019 levels by mid-June.

FDJ Chief Executive, Stéphane Pallez, said: “The group’s strong mobilisation from the onset of the health crisis and a swiftly implemented cost-cutting plan have limited the impact on the first-half results.”

“From mid-June, we have been recording stakes at a level comparable with that of 2019. Our strategic orientations and the strength of the FDJ model have been confirmed, and we continue to invest to support the development of all our activities.”

FDJ’s flagship lottery games still account for the majority of stakes, although their contribution fell by 12.6 per cent to €5.78billion. Instant win games accounted for €3.56billion of that (a drop of 11.3 per cent). Stakes for draw-based fell 14.6 per cent to €2.22billion.

Due to the cancellation of the local sporting calendar, stakes in sports betting, after adjustment to account for the FDJ’s acquisition of Sporting Group, fell 38.8 per cent to €1.11billion.

The cancellation of sports brought down online stakes too, which fell 15.8 per cent to €1.39billion, although online lottery stakes rose by close to 50 per cent to €500million – still a fraction of retail stakes, which fell 20.8 per cent to €6.27billion.

Total gross gaming revenue for the six months fell 15.4 per cent to €2.25billion, with €1.95billion from lottery (down 13.2 per cent), €298million from sports betting (down 26.1 per cent, and €6million from B2B betting solutions. 

Net revenue fell 14.7 per cent to €829million, with €20million from payments and entertainment businesses taking total half-year revenue to €849million, a drop of 10.1 per cent.

Cost savings totalling €80million succeeded in reducing the impact on profit, with EBITDA for falling 16.4 per cent to €174million.

Last month FDJ announced it was introducing a new gaming platform using of blockchain technology.

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