International horse betting offsets weaker local markets
French operator Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) delivered a mixed bag of results in its first half 2016, reporting a volatile environment affected by, amongst others, a decline in equestrian activities in France.
Group gross gaming revenue was up 1.1 percent to Euro 1.2 billion despite a slight decline in total stakes of 0.3 percent to Euro 4.9 billion.
Horse betting stakes amounted to Euro 4.475 billion, down 1.1 percent, but ahead of the overall French market PMU claims which was down 4.4 percent to Euro 3.968 billion during this reporting period.
A decrease in horse stakes, which particularly affected Retail, was attributed to social movements, a post-terrorist climate, the weather, the Euro 2016 Football competition and the companies separation of online and retail reportage.
"International activity confirms its key role as growth drivers of horse betting," PMU said. International stakes rose sharply to Euro 506.5 million (up 35.2 percent), partly offsetting the decline in the French market. Total horse betting gross revenues were up 0.8 percent to Euro 1.2 billion.
On a positive note, international business has continued to show strong growth following a successful Euro 2016 Football championship where stakes exceeded Euro 500 million, the company reported. Sports betting stakes delivered 30.7 percent growth to Euro 154.4 million, and gross gaming revenues amounted to Euro 24.2 million, a 16.1 percent increase.
Poker stakes declined 0.6 percent to Euro 282.2 million, while gross gaming revenues increased 8 percent to Euro 7.7 million.
Looking ahead, PMU said stricter fiscal controls will be implemented in the upcoming period to achieve a net profit in line with its 2016 commitments along with new innovations and a focus on international business.
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