SBC News Betclic shines for FL as Riahi questions FDJ and Kindred’s French Connection

Betclic shines for FL as Riahi questions FDJ and Kindred’s French Connection

SBC News Betclic shines for FL as Riahi questions FDJ and Kindred’s French Connection
Jake Pollard

FL Entertainment the parent group of Betclic has stated that strong levels of cross-sell from sports-led Betclic sites to online casino had led to 39% growth in non online sportsbook revenues.

Question posed to the Amsterdam EuroNext media group asked FL Entertainment CEO François Riahi his view on the proposed €2.6bn takeover of Kindred Group by Groupe Française des Jeux (Groupe FDJ).

Riahi replied: “We don’t see that how the lottery and land-based betting monopoly can buy a company with a large market share in French online sports betting without it being an issue for the relevant authorities.”

“That will be for the authorities to question if the deal can go through.” Riahi added that Betclic and FL teams will wait to see what France’s market authorities have to say about the proposed acquisition and its impact of French gambling’s competitive make-up.

One question sent to Riahi via the web came as a comment and noted “with interest that the French state could become a major shareholder in the leading European online casino operator (Kindred Group), while not allowing online casino in France”. Riahi described the scenario as “interesting”.

Betclic expands beyond French comfort zone

Betclic’s revenues grew 19% to €996m as adjusted EBITDA rose by 24% to €252m in 2023 and Riahi praised the group’s market leadership in France, Portugal and Poland and said the brand was progressing well in Germany, but remains a small player in Italy.

Key events in the past 12 months were Betclic’s launch in Africa in the regulated Ivory Coast market and with this year’s African Cup of Nations also taking place there, Riahi said the event had helped make Betclic the number 2 brand in the country.

FL added that the best sign of a healthy online gambling operation was the number of unique active players and these were up +23%, “supported by effective diversification both in terms of products and geographies with casino, poker & turf (horse racing) increasing at double-digit rates”.

Group-wide revenues including FL Entertainment’s TV production units were up nearly 14% to €4.5bn and adj. EBITDA was up 15% to €756m as adj. EBITDA margins rose 20bps to 16.7%.

The group has €464m on the balance sheet and its leverage ratio was “stable” at 3.1x.The TV production unit Banijay refinanced its debt with c85% of debt maturity extended until 2028-2029.

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