La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has detailed a strong start to 2022, with revenue increases recorded for both sports betting and lottery, although stake numbers for the former did decline slightly.
Updating stakeholders, the French national lottery and sports wagering provider reported total revenues of €613 million, a 14% increase on the previous year’s figure (€527m), backed by a 10.2% increase in stakes from €4.5 billion to €5.1 billion.
A vertical breakdown saw sports betting turnover reach €129 million, a 13.4% increase (2021: €111m), albeit with a ‘low rate of return to players since the end of 2021’, a trend which the firm attributed to a 5.2% decline in stakes, ‘mainly due to unexpected sports results, especially in football’.
The firm also referenced its points of sale network as a key reason behind both its lottery and sports betting successes, with over 30,000 points of sale bolstered by France’s ongoing emergence from COVID-19, whilst digital stakes grew by 1% to €4.5 billion to account for 11% of total bets.
Retail remained the dominant vertical for FDJ, bolstered by easing of lockdown measures over the past year, with wagers placed via this channel rising by 11.5% last quarter to €4.83bn last quarter.
Stéphane Pallez, FDJ Group Chairman and CEO, said: “The start of the year was marked by strong growth in all of our activities, across all sales channels. The strong growth in turnover from lottery and sports betting is thus driven both by our network of 30,000 points of sale and by solid online activity.”
FDJ’s Lottery income dwarfed sports betting – increasing by 14% to €467 million (€401.6m), a result driven by a growth in stakes by 15.3% to €3,989 million (€3,461m) according to FDJ.
Total draw stakes amounted to €1.5 billion, which FDJ attributed to a 9.5% growth rate for the Amigo lottery which recorded stakes in excess of pre-pandemic levels, whilst instant games stakes rose by 19% to €2.5 billion. However, the Loto and Euromillions performance was less impressive, with the company stating this was due to ‘the virtual absence of long cycles’.
The group did also acknowledge that the improvements recorded in its Q1 2022 results in comparison to Q1 2021 will be impacted by the measures implemented by the French government at that time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Notably, 10% of FDJ’s points-sale-network was closed, predominantly bars, resulting in an predictable decline in stakes from these outlets. However, the limited retail betting options did accelerate the retail-online shift, with the group’s aforementioned digital business experiencing ‘exceptional growth’.
Lastly, FDJ was also keen to highlight its A1+ sustainability rating by Moody’s ESG Solutions along with an improved ESG score up two points to 72/100, with the group ranked 15th out of a group of around 5,000 international companies.
“We are also very proud of the A1+ sustainability rating awarded by Moody’s ESG Solutions to FDJ for the fourth consecutive year. This good financial and extra-financial performance confirms our strategy of sustainable and profitable growth, and our outlook for 2022.”