SBC News FDJ matches Q1 expectations ahead of Kindred takeover

FDJ matches Q1 expectations ahead of Kindred takeover

SBC News FDJ matches Q1 expectations ahead of Kindred takeover
Jake Pollard

Française des Jeux (FDJ) Chairwoman and CEO Stéphane Pallez has praised the group’s first quarter performance as online sports betting and gaming revenues rose 9.5% YoY to  €141m as overall group revenues rose 7% to €710m and that it was “confidently pressing ahead” with its proposed €2.4bn acquisition of Unibet parent Kindred Group.

Updating markets, FDJ noted that completion of the offer remained “subject, in particular, to obtaining regulatory approvals and to FDJ acquiring at least 90% of Kindred’s share capital”.

During the group’s call to analysts, CFO Pascal Chaffard said the ban on online slots proposed by Dutch MPs would not succeed while further advertising restrictions would actually benefit Kindred as market leader. Chaffard also dismissed notions of the takeover not happening because of potential regulatory changes in the Netherlands.

As part of its moves to increase its Kindred shareholding, FDJ agreed a squeeze-out with the Swedish group in March and acquired 2.4 million shares from shareholder Veralda worth €25.8m.

Veralda still holds a 1.18% stake in Kindred and is committed to selling it to FDJ, as are Corvex Management LP, Premier Investissement SAS, Eminence Capita and Nordea, who between them own 26.82% of Kindred’s outstanding shares.

Pallez said the results were “in line with its 2024 objectives” as gaming revenues in France rose 3% to €645m during the period, with lottery up 1.4% to €504m and instant games up by more than 4%. Draw games were down 3% due to problems linked to the Amigo product, without those the segment would have grown +4%.

The group said the digital growth came from its integration of ZETurf, the online tote horse racing operator it acquired in 2022 for €175m, but ex-ZETurf, online growth was just 0.9% and suffered from a tough comparative period post-World Cup in Q1 2023, the group said.

Still, revenues at its ParionsSport portal were up more than 25% and benefited “from the attractiveness of poker, with a high level of cross-selling”, while the “momentum of online games remains very strong”, FDJ added.

Gaming revenues were up by more than 30% to €100m and made up almost 15% of FDJ’s revenues. Excluding ZEturf and the Irish lottery, growth in online betting and gaming was up by more than 20%, as its EuroDreams’ lottery product benefited from a “very high rate of digitalisation” and “the attractiveness of instant games”.

Revenues from its international and payments activities were up 75.6% to €65m, driven by the integration of Irish lottery operator Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which FDJ acquired in 2023 from €300m.

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