Coronavirus outbreak causes FDJ revenue to decline for Q1 2020

By Iqbal Johal

French operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has announced a 1% year-on-year decline in revenue for Q1 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Revenue is down to €500m ($543.6m), while player stakes for the first quarter have decreased 5% from 2019, to €4.1bn.

However, since the start of the lockdown in France on 16 March, stakes have dropped 60%, with amounts wagered on lotteries declining more than 40%.

Sports betting handle has fallen nearly 95% since the suspension of all major sporting competitions worldwide.

The operator says the impact of the coronavirus has led to a €100m hit in revenue and €50m in EBITDA.

The group has implemented an action plan to save more than €80m for the rest of 2020, while its board of directors has proposed to maintain dividend payment, but reduce its amount by 30% to €0.45 per share.

Considering the operator has €800m available in excess cash, it has decided not to take advantage of state support or use furlough schemes.

FDJ Chairwoman and CEO, Stéphane Pallez, said: "Since the beginning of this unprecedented health crisis, the FDJ Group has strengthened its mobilisation to limit the effects on the company, its employees and its stakeholders in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity.

"The exceptional situation is already having very significant effects on the company’s activity."

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