French gaming operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has shared its financial report for the first quarter of the current year. The company —which is the sole lottery operator in France, #2 in Europe and #4 worldwide— described the period as a “good start to the year,” posting growth in revenue of 14%.
FDJ describes a “very good momentum” at points of sale for the quarter, with stakes up by 12%, attributed the group’s marketing and sales initiatives, plus a return to normal for the sector. Additionally, the operator of France's national lottery games confirms “a solid base of online stakes,” which now represent 11.4% of total stakes.
“The start of the year was marked by strong growth in all our business lines, across all sales channels,” said Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ Group. “The strong growth in lottery and sports betting revenues was driven by our network of 30,000 retail outlets and a solid online activity.”
Additionally, Moody’s ESG Solutions A1+ sustainability rating has been awarded to La Française des Jeux for the fourth year in a row, with a rating of 72/100 (+2 points), which was celebrated by the business. “This good financial and extra-financial performance underpins our strategy of sustainable and profitable growth, and our outlook for 2022,” commented Pallez.
Revenue for the first quarter of 2022 saw revenue grow by 14% to €613 million ($656.9 million), although it is worth noting that in Q1 2021, measures taken by the French authorities against the Covid-19 pandemic affected the company’s activities at points of sale, with nearly 10% of its network closed, mainly bars. Meanwhile, digital activity recorded exceptional growth last year.
Now, activity has increased across all channels. Point-of-sale stakes are up by 11.5% to €4.5 billion ($4.8 billion), while online stakes came out at €575 million ($616 million). The operator highlights this online performance, up 1% despite an extremely high comparison base in Q1 2021, which demonstrates “the solidity of the group’s online activity.”
Revenue has increased across all of the group’s activities, with lottery revenue up 14% to €467 million ($500.2 million), driven by growth in betting (+15.3%). Draw game stakes amounted to €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion), up 9.5%, driven by the growth of the Amigo brand, which has now exceeded its pre-pandemic level for stakes. Meanwhile, instant game stakes reached €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion), up 19% with launches and relaunches taking place over the quarter.
Sports betting revenue was also up, increasing by 13.4% to €129 million ($138.2 million). “The persistence of a low player payout ratio since the end of 2021, 74.7% in Q1 2022, down -4.2 points compared to Q1 2021, contributed to a drop in stakes of -5.2%,” said the business. This is mainly attributed to unexpected sports results, particularly in soccer.
“This good start to the year confirms the group's achievement of its 2022 targets in terms of both business growth and margin growth,” said the business in a statement, which further expressed Moody's ESG Solutions’ A1+ Sustainability Rating “confirms FDJ's position among the most active companies assessed in terms of ESG criteria.”
FDJ ranked 15th out of nearly 5,000 companies worldwide monitored by Moody’s ESG Solutions, a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessments and data. In the hotels, leisure and services sector, composed of 45 international companies, which includes gambling operators, the French business ranked first.