SBC News FDJ 2020 results drained by early Covid hits 

FDJ 2020 results drained by early Covid hits 

Groupe FDJ has reported a ‘gradual recovery’ to its financial performance, as strong second-half lottery sales helped the company mitigate sustained Covid headwinds incurred earlier in the year.

Completing its first year as a Paris Euronext enterprise, FDJ recorded full-year group stakes (lottery sales + sports betting wagers) of €16 billion, down 7% on corresponding FY 2019’s €17.1 billion.

The firm’s wagering decline was primarily attributed to the H1 closure of its ‘AMIGO’ lottery point-of-sales network, which saw FDJ absorb a 30% hit on retail sales during the first-half trading period.   

H1’s lottery downturn was clawed back during the summer, however, with FDJ declaring an improved Loto and Euro Millions sales increase of 6% to €3.2 billion. Meanwhile, full-year lottery sales were maintained at €12.7 billion, down 6% on 2019 results.  

Despite its downturn, FDJ detailed a positive outlook for its lottery unit, as the company has since reopened the majority of its retail network – equating to 30,000 sales points.

Further H1 deficits saw FDJ’s sports betting division maintain a 10% decline in full-year wagers to €3.2 billion, despite the unit reporting a strong 20% increase on end of year performance. 

Impacted by severe H1 trading headwinds, FDJ recorded a full-year corporate turnover of €1.9 billion, down 6% on FY 2019’s €2.05 billion.

Despite its sales and turnover downturn, FDJ praised its ‘early mobilisation’ which saw the company implement costs controls of €80 million and help it to ‘preserve its EBITDA’ of €214 million – up from €209 million in 2019. 

FDJ will continue to observe Covid-19 impacts on French business and society, with the company underlining that its strengthened EBITDA cash reserve ‘exceeding €1 billion’ will allow it to continue duties as France’s national lottery operator.

“The health crisis had a strong impact on our business, particularly in the first half of the year,” said Group CEO Stéphane Pallez. “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 us to preserve our performance and our annual results. 

“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.”

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