Française des Jeux (FDJ), France’s state-backed betting, gaming and lotteries operator, has reported a stellar start to 2023 trading, reporting ‘good momentum’ across all verticals.
Group-wide figures for the first three months of the year saw FDJ’s revenue rise 5% to €662m (€628.9m) on a pro-forma basis, including the acquisitions of its point-of-sale (POS) payments provider Aleda and retail solutions firm L’Addition.
Growth was driven by a 8.6% increase in stakes to €5.5bn (€5bn) across all three product verticals, whilst an uptick in sports betting from summer 2022 and last year’s World Cup continued.
As a whole, online sports betting and gaming delivered revenue of €129m, with this figure remaining consistent for the former vertical, which achieved this sum in Q1 2022.
Lastly, lottery revenue rose 6.4% to €497m (€465m), attributed to growth in draw games and instant lottery stakes, and high jackpots were cited as a key driver of the performance of Loto and Euromillions products.
Stéphane Pallez, FDJ Group CEO and Chairwoman, said: “The first quarter of 2023 was marked by the continued good financial and extra-financial performance of the FDJ Group.
“Our revenue is up more than 5%, driven by both our network of 30,000 points of sale and a good dynamic in our digital business.”
Meanwhile, a breakdown of stakes saw online wagering, particularly sports betting and lottery play, increase 21.3% to ‘nearly’ €700m (€550.9m), accounting for 13% of total takes and attributed to an increase in player numbers.
At the retail level, having moved to strengthen its offering in this area via the aforementioned integrations Aleda and L’Addition, FDJ reported growth in point-of-sale stakes by 6.9% to €4.7bn (€4.5n).
An additional highlight for the firm during the first quarter was a ruling by the French Council of State on 14 April reaffirming its monopoly held over lotteries and betting in France, which the legal body decided was in compliance with EU law, concluding a court case which began in December 2019.
FDJ also highlighted its sustainability initiatives, referring to its rating of 72/100by Moody ESG Solutions, ranking 22nd out of the ESG assessor‘s list of 5,000 global companies.
On the other hand, the group did come across a major hurdle this quarter for its marketing activities, as the L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) rejected its 2023 advertising plans, pointing particularly to promotion of its lottery products.
Pallez concluded: “We are also very proud to have maintained an excellent sustainability rating by Moody’s ESG Solutions, which places us, for the fifth year in a row, as number one in our industry.
“Finally, the decision of the French Council of State validates the privatisation procedure and strengthens FDJ’s monopoly, in compliance with European law.”
Following a positive start of 2023 trading, FDJ has updated its targets for the remainder of the year, projecting revenue growth of between 4% and 5% to €2.5bn, accompanied by a continued increase in online stakes by 20% and an EBITDA margin of ‘around 24%’.