Française des Jeux (FDJ) put a year-on-year rise in revenue, earnings and net profit during the first half of its financial year primarily down to growth in its lottery business, while the French operator also announced the acquisition of payments specialist L’Addition.
Lottery growth was apparent during both the first and second quarters, with FDJ saying the positive trend it noted during the early part of the first half continued into the most recent three-month period.
The operator also said this trend was present within the wider business and that although it noted a decline in sports betting revenue, stakes were higher across both online and offline channels across the group.
As such, FDJ said it would continue to pursue new investment opportunities, with the latest coming in the acquisition of L’Addition, which specialises in payment management, point-of-sale systems and management services for the café, hotel and restaurant sector.
This followed the news earlier this month that it had also entered exclusive negotiations with Aleda, a point-of-sale and payment provider, with intent to buy.
“Given the deterioration in the global economic environment, the group remains cautious but confident in its outlook, based on its extensive and responsible gaming model,” FDJ chief executive and chairwoman Stéphane Pallez said.
“We continue to invest to back the development of our activities, including those of payment and services, with the two acquisitions of Aleda and L’Addition.”
Looking at FDJ’s financial performance in the six months to 30 June, net gaming revenue amounted to €1.21bn (£1.01bn/$1.24bn), up 12.1% from €1.08bn in the previous year.
Lottery was the main contributor to this, with revenue rising by 17.1% year-on-year to €946m. FDJ said that this was mainly due to the relaxation of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions on lottery point of sale in the first half of last year, with these measures having now been removed.
However, despite lottery growth, sports betting revenue slipped 4.9% to €232m, with FDJ saying this was primarily the result of a weaker sports calendar. Last year, the latter part of H1 included the Uefa European Championship, with this drawing higher spending among customers.
On the subject of spending, stakes across the business were 9.7% higher at €10.0bn, with lottery stakes rising 16.6% to €8.02bn, though sports betting stakes fell 10.9% to €2.02bn for the same reason as the revenue decline in this segment.
After accounting for €977.9m in total operating expenses, this left a group operating profit of €239.2m, up 21.4% year-on-year, while when also including financial spending of €22.4m, pre-tax profit also climbed 7.5% to €217.7m.
FDJ paid €58.2m in income tax during the half, resulting in net profit of €159.5m, up 9.5% on last year. In addition, the operator noted that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by 18.0% year-on-year to €308.0m.
“The second quarter confirmed the positive trend at the start of the year, notably for the lottery,” Pallez said. “Our business grew over the half year, both at points of sale and in digital.
“The group is pursuing its sustainable and profitable growth strategy for the benefit of all its stakeholders.”