Online activity helps PMU results

12 April 2013

French horseracing monopoly and gambling operator Pari Mutual Urbain (PMU) has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2013 showing static overall stakes year-on-year at €2.5 billion.

PMU revealed that gross gaming revenues for the initial three months of 2013 rose by 1.1 percent year-on-year to €642 million while stakes from its online sportsbetting operation increased by 33 percent when compared with the same period last year to €49.2 million.

The French operator stated that stakes from its online poker offering swelled by 7.5 percent year-on-year to €139 million to make it one of the ‘top three or four eCommerce sites in France and [a] top iGaming site across all verticals’.

For 2012 as a whole, PMU declared that its overall stakes had enlarged by 2.5 percent year-on-year to €10.5 billion with its online operations over fixed-odds and totalisator horseracing in addition to poker generating €1.6 billion of the total and €270 million in gross gaming revenues, which equates to an improvement of some 16.2 percent year-on-year.

PMU proclaimed that wagers placed on horseracing over the Internet accounted for €968 million of the €1.6 billion in total online stakes for 2012 while its overall gross gaming revenues improved by 1.3 percent year-on-year to €2.5 billion.

“France’s lack of economic growth in the last two quarters of 2012 and during the first quarter of 2013 has had a direct impact on our customers’ spending patterns since every time there is stagnation or a drop in French people’s purchasing power PMU has felt the after-effects,” said Philippe Germond, President for PMU.

Speaking at a press conference, Germond acknowledged that the company’s performance was encouraging but ‘masked a contrasting picture on the ground in particular with regard to its core business of offline tote horseracing. Although he praised the operator’s growth in online betting and gaming, he revealed that the firm would undergo a strategic repositioning before 2020.

“These figures mean that PMU is one of the top three or four eCommerce sites in France and [a] top iGaming site across all verticals,” said Germond.

“We have managed to take second position in fixed-odds online sportsbetting and our poker network is in third position behind two pure players.”

At a strategic level, Germond explained that the company intends to push ahead with a new vision for PMU designed to bring in a younger audience. To do this, he stated that the firm intends to take into account eight factors encompassing social and demographics, payments, international development via emerging economies and soon-to-be-regulated countries, gaming market and new entrants, new and more modern betting outlets, consumer expectations, younger audiences and sport and its relationships to betting.