Patrouche Plans Poker Room as Blue Square Sets Example
Tumble in profits leads to new poker brand for French casino operator
Thursday 28th June 2007
French casino operator Groupe Patrouche is planning poker rooms to attract new clients. Patrouche has seen net profits tumble from €24.3 million to €8.5 million as new casino regulations in France have strangled slot machine revenue. Despite the 64.9% fall, the company is still in profit, but continued restrictions and pessimism from investors are likely to hit figures for the second half of the year as well.
Analysts at French bank Societe Generale had predicted a fall, and the value of the company’s shares has already dropped 15% since January. However, the company’s first half results are a further 15% below the Societe General forecast, and shares are expected to fall in the wake of this announcement.
Despite these results the long-term forecast may not be so grim: aside from opening poker rooms, Patrouche is planning to renew its infrastructure, replacing old slot machines with new ones that are made to regulations specifications. These will also accept bank notes, so the new machines could prove even more profitable.
Blue Square, the online poker operator with Rank behind it, has shown impressive results for the first half: revenues are up 37%, an impressive 32% rise on like for like growth. Blue Square has boosted its success via a number of live tournaments with innovative structures and reasonable buy-ins.