French gaming operator Groupe Partouche, which runs 40 casinos across France and Switzerland, has posted a consolidated turnover of €89.1 million ($94.2 million) for the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year, comprising February, March and April 2022, the company announced on Tuesday. The business credits a good upturn in activity at the end of the quarter for driving the positive results.
Attendance has been down by 19.7% when compared to the 2nd quarter of pre-pandemic 2019, but the average basket increased by 20.8% to €89 in the same period. Additionally, the company notes the drop in attendance has eased since the lifting of the French vaccination pass on March 13: between March 14 and April 30, attendance was down by 13.7%.
Comparatives to the same quarter last year might be misleading given all French casinos were closed amid Covid-19 pandemic measures. Abroad, the casino in Ostend (Belgium) also remained closed, while the Swiss casinos of Myrin and Crans-Montana were able to welcome customers with no curfew, as from April 19, 2021, but under health constraints.
In comparison, all casinos remained operational during the 2nd quarter of 2022 (February to April), although Groupe Partouche says health constraints -such as the aforementioned pass- still “affected their attendance.” Switzerland was quicker to end its vaccination pass, lifting it from February 17.
Overall, revenue for Q2 of the current year amounted to €89.1 million, almost four times the €23.6 million ($24.9 million) in 2021, but down 15.4% compared to €105.3 million in 2019 ($111.3 million). Off-gaming activities generated revenue of €18.7 million ($19.8 million), only slightly below the €22.2 million posted in 2019.
The 2nd quarter takes into account a series of factors, including the disposal in January of a stake held in the Crans-Montana casino in France; and the cessation of online games and betting in Belgium, and the management of the Ostend casino since July 2021.
Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the quarter stood at €148.2 million ($156.7 million), notably up from €25.1 million in Q2 last year. “Particularly, the ramping up of the Swiss online games, whose GGR amounts to €3.3 million ($3.5 million) compared to €1.1 million in the 2nd quarter of 2021, should be noted,” the company said.
Turnover for the first half of the year thus amounts to €187.2 million ($197.8 million), up almost four times from €47.2 million in the same period last year, with a tripled Net Gaming Revenue amounting to €153.4 million ($162.2 million) in what the company describes as “a dynamic climate of business development” since the end of the vaccination pass.
In terms of period highlights, the company’s Hyères casino reopened in its eternity in April, following a long period of refurbishment, largely disrupted by the pandemic. The games room has been completely redesignated and now covers 1,500 m², while the outdoor terrace has been equipped with slot machines and an electronic roulette for player convenience.
Upstairs, a restaurant with a hundred seats, including private spaces, has been created. The Hyères venue also now features a new entrance, distinct from that of the casino, that has been specifically created for the adjoining theater halls.
The group was also able to advance its responsible gaming efforts, and in April, the National Gaming Authority validated the company’s 2022 action plan, called “Prevention of excessive or pathological and underage gambling.” The regulator highlighted in particular “the ambition and the quality of its content.”
Also during Q2, the company signed “its very first sustainability-linked loan” with Arkéa Banque, in February. The criteria are broken down into three themes: environment, social and governance. “Groupe Partouche is firmly rooted in its SER (social & environmental responsibility) approach,” the company said.