10% revenue increase vs 2019

French lottery FDJ returns to pre-pandemic growth for all verticals in 2021, driven by online expansion

Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and CEO of the FDJ Group.
Reading time 2:39 min

After a rough year not only for the industry but for society world-wide, 2021 was a year of slow recovery that saw La Française de Jeux (FDJ) outperform its pre-pandemic financial metrics with online lottery operations spiking by 55% in the last two years. In its recently released report showing the financial results for FY2021, Groupe FDJ posted revenues of € 2.26 billion ($2.56 billion), up 17.5% from 2020’s figure and an increase of 10.5% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

As reported by the Group, the 2nd largest lottery in Europe and 4th worldwide, this revenue growth came as a result of online and digital sales, which were up 42% from 2020’s results. During the first year of the pandemic, online sales figures also represented a 40% increase on 2019, in the cusp of a global trend of digital sales. 

The company’s organization is based on three segments: two Business Units, Lottery and Sports Betting, and the adjacent activities which include International, Payment and Services, and Entertainment. 

FDJ’s FY2021 lottery stakes accounted for €14.7 billion ($16.6 billion) out of the group’s total €18.98 billion ($21.53 billion) and saw revenues of €1.73 billion ($1.96 billion), an increase of 15.6% on 2020, and 8.8% up on 2019’s performance, attributed to both instant games and draw game sales increases. 

When it comes to instant games, the increase was of 9.5% compared to 2019, driven by the success of animation of the games offer, while draw-based stakes reached €5.74 billion ($6.51 billion), up 7.5% from 2019, brought in by the Loto and Euromillions games, which saw record historic jackpots and longer cycles during 2021.

In the sports betting area, the year benefited from the return to in-person events and the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament which took place June-July 2021. Revenue amounted to €464 million ($526.4 million), an increase of 14.1% vs. 2019, and 24.7% compared to 2020. The player payout ratio was 77.1%.  

In total across lottery and sports betting, payouts to winners totaled €12.97 billion ($14.7 billion), leaving the group with a GGR of €6 billion ($6.8 billion).

Adjacent activities (International, Payment & Services and Entertainment) recorded revenue of €63 million ($71.4 million), in an increase of €11 million compared to 2020, attributable both to the International business and to the development of the point-of-sale payments business launched in 2020.  

During 2021, FDJ also completed a B2B diversification in North America, with deals with both OLG’s Proline+ online sportsbook and PlayAlberta.

After completing its transfers to the state under the French law, FDJ paid €3.82 billion ($4.33 billion) in public levies, whilst also noting a €1.2 billion ($1.36 billion) in cost of sales including the €901 million ($1 billion) paid out in retailer commission. 

EBITDA for 2021 stood at €522 million, an increase of 22.3% compared to 2020, and 23.6% contrasted to pre-pandemic levels. 

Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and CEO of the FDJ Group, spoke about FY2021’s financial results and said: “2021 marks the return of FDJ to its pre-crisis growth trajectory for all of its activities. The Group’s 2021 results are significantly higher than those recorded in 2019, thanks to the acceleration of digital and the growth in the network of points of sale”. 

The Group also gave an update on its expectations for 2022, alongside revisions for its 2025 objectives: the group expects to deliver an increase in turnover of almost +5% with digital stakes foreseen to increase by more than 20%.

By 2025, FDJ aims to achieve average annual revenue growth of between 4% and 5%, and an EBITDA margin rate above 20%. 

“These performances testify to the relevance of our strategy and lead us to revise upwards the 2025 objectives communicated at the time of the Group’s OP, both in terms of growth and EBITDA margin. At the same time, we are pursuing our societal commitments, which have already been strongly reinforced since the start of the health crisis. FDJ will continue to combine financial performance and extra-financial commitments for the benefit of all its stakeholders”. 

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