Despite a three per cent rise in bets during the second half of 2020, La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has reported a 6.8 per cent decline in annual bets amounting to just under €16bn, with turnover down 6.3 per cent to €1.92bn.
Drawing games stakes grew by six per cent to €3.2bn. Amigo fell by more than 30 per cent and instant games stakes were down six per cent to €7.7bn affected by the impact of the health crisis on point-of-sale traffic. In total, lottery stakes fell six per cent to €12.7bn.
Sports betting limited its decline to 10 per cent over the year to €3.2bn, thanks to growth of more than 20 per cent in the second half of the year compared to the second half of 2019, after a decline of nearly 40 per cent in the first six months.
Stakes in the network of points of sale were stable in the second half of the year, after falling by more than 20 per cent between January and July. FDJ accompanied and supported its distribution network, maintained at nearly 30,000 points of sale.
Digital stakes continued to grow strongly with annual growth of nearly 40 per cent driven by the digital lottery, up by more than 60 per cent to over €1.1bn.
Turnover fell by six per cent to €1.9m. EBITDA came in at €427m, representing an EBITDA margin on sales of 22.2 per cent. EBITDA was preserved thanks to the implementation of a savings plan of more than €80m
The FDJ board of directors will propose to the general meeting on June 16 a dividend of 80 per cent of consolidated net income, as the Group committed to when it was floated on the stock market. The dividend of 0.90 euros per share will be paid on June 23.
The FDJ group has said it “is pursuing its strategy to offer an ever more global gaming experience and to strengthen its position as the leader in the French gambling market. With a solid and resilient model, it is confident in its medium-term prospects, which combine growth and a high level of profitability.”
For 2021, the operator says uncertainties persist; nevertheless, for the lottery, many launches and relaunches of instant games are planned (for example a new income game launched at the start of the year, ‘Objectif Maison’; the fourth edition of Mission Patrimoine; or a third phygital game) , while more than ten events around boosted Loto and Euromillions jackpots will punctuate the year for the draw.
“The enrichment of the online lottery game offering will continue, with innovative and richer gaming experiences. Sports betting, beyond its intrinsic dynamic, will benefit from the UEFA Euro and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games which will liven up the calendar of events.”
“2020 has been an unprecedented and contrasting year, during which FDJ has shown resilience and solidarity,” explained Stéphane Pallez, President and CEO of the FDJ.
“The health crisis had a strong impact on our business, particularly in the first half of the year. But the good recovery recorded in the second half of the year, combined with the Group’s responsiveness and the relevance of its digital strategy, have enabled our performance and annual results to be preserved.
“I would like to thank the Group’s employees for their mobilisation, and to renew our support for our network of points of sale, some of which have been severely affected. At the start of 2021, even if uncertainties persist, FDJ remains confident in its prospects for sustainable growth, in line with its raison d’être.”