France – Partouche looking to ‘digitise’ to attract younger customersBy Phil - 27 February 2017
Following a recovery of its business in 2015, French casino operator Partouche has continued its positive progress with net profit for the year ended October up to €11.1m compared to €2m the previous year.
As looks forward to the coming year it is planning to grow its players base by bringing a new wave of technology to its gaming floors.
The last year was only the second year in which Partouche, which operates 39 casinos in France, has seen growth in its revenues since 2007.
Annual revenues grew by 1.2 per cent to € 405.2m while Gross Gaming Revenue increased by 3.2 per cent. EBITDA increased from €75m to €80m, representing 19.8 per cent of revenues, compared to 18.7 per cent a year earlier.
Partouche Chairman Fabrice Paire said: “These results are very satisfactory, as the business is growing and the operating structure is under control. The fiscal year 2016 saw the continuation of the good trends recorded over several semesters, both in activity, with our organic growth continuing, and profitability, with further improvements in the Group’s margins. We look to the 2017 financial year with confidence.”
Partouche plans to renovate five casinos over the coming year as well as opening its ‘open air’ casino in La Ciotat, in the seaside town of Bouches-du-Rhône, in June.
With a 13,00 m2 terrace dedicated to games and slot machines, Partouche wants to propose ‘a new gaming experience for a clientele wishing to smoke while playing.’
Table games grew by four per cent to 65.8m whilst electronic gaming grew by €28 per cent to €30.4m
Mr. Paire said that the introduction of bingo a year ago had proved ‘very satisfactory’ despite not being particularly profitable. “It nevertheless attracts a lot of people and brings a type of clientele, inter-generational, which we didn’t previously have. Half of those guests who come to play bingo also play the machines.
In 2017, Partouche will be ‘diversifying the offer’ with more electronic versions of traditional games – such as Black Jack or poker – that have great potential.
“This form of digitization attracts a younger clientele so does not cannibalize slot machines or classic games like roulette,” Mr Paire explained.
This roll-out is already underway with Partouche installing new products from Alfastreet at its casinos in Pornichet, Gréoux and La Ciotat & Palavas. Its Forges-les-Eaux casino in Normandy in northern France recently installeda new, state-of-the-art electronic roulette wheel called Tangiamo.
Casino Director Richard Frischer said: “It is a unique game developed by Swedish with a touch screen interface. We have added our own trademark with the installation of touch panel for each player so that it ‘ Identifies, places orders. It is like a mini-tablet and so is very ergonomic. We must follow trends, adapt to the demand of our customers and offer an alternative to what our customers already know about electronic roulette. They must be offered something that they have never seen elsewhere, a unique experience.”