Pari-Mutuel Urbain's quarterly numbers this week indicated a strong performance from the company, and are being widely seen as an indication that business is picking up in the nation. Philippe Germond, PMU chairman and managing director, said he was "very happy" for shareholders like France Galop, noting:
"These results are very satisfactory. The shareholders were very worried about the opening up of the online market and now the PMU is number one for online betting on racing. France and Sweden were the only two countries which had an increase in betting turnover last year.
"When it comes to sports betting, we have 15% of the online market and our association with Paddy Power could not have gone better," he added.
"Turnover on poker has been a surprise and together with PartyGaming and we have taken a bigger share of this market than hoped.
"The PMU now has its own poker team. Neither sports betting or poker has had a negative effect on the horse racing side."
While most PMU betting is carried out at 11,000 outlets throughout France, there are now approximately 500,000 online clients, and the outlook for the company's online operations appears rosy; forecasts suggest €1.2 billion of the 2011 total will come from internet operations.
During Q1/2011 internet clients wagered €317.6 million.
Figures released earlier this week showed total PMU turnover up by 8.3% at €2.58 billion for the first three months of this year with the 12-month figure on course set to hit a record €10 billion.
The French horse racing industry will also be pleased with the company's success - the PMU contributes around 8% of its turnover to the racing industry in France, funding better prize money and making the sport more attractive to punters.
PMU's 2010 performance showed a 2.6% increase in turnover to €9.54 billion. The French government's portion for 2010 worked out at €1.024 billion, when PMU expenses came in at €568 million, part of which was spent on award-winning publicity.
Source: InfoPowa News