MONTRÉAL, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ - For the first quarter of the 2021–2022 fiscal year, Loto-Québec generated total revenues of $401.3 million, up $243.9 million (+154.9%) compared to the same period last year, during which most of the Corporation's activities were shut down. This is a decrease of $254.9 million (-38.8%) compared to the first quarter of 2019–2020, before the pandemic.
Consolidated net income for the first quarter of this year was $195.7 million, an increase of $260.0 million (+404.5%) compared to the same period last year and a decrease of $141.7 million (-42.0%) compared to the same period the year prior to the pandemic.
All suspended activities gradually restarted in June: casinos, gaming halls, video lottery, network bingo, Kinzo and the Hilton Lac-Leamy. The resumption is going well so far, which has contributed to the enthusiasm of customers and employees alike. It should be noted, however, that capacity and hours of operation remain limited.
QUOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
"I was absolutely delighted and very proud to join Loto-Québec on May 31. It quickly became apparent to me that all our teams are made up of experienced, dedicated and passionate employees, who demonstrated resilience and creativity during the exceptional year we just went through," said JeanFrançois Bergeron, President and Chief Executive Officer of Loto-Québec.
"Given that the activities put on hold only resumed a few days before the end of the quarter, we achieved solid results. Coupled with the continuation of our operations, we can be optimistic about achieving our annual targets. Our priority remains providing a fun and safe environment. I'm very excited about the challenges ahead," he added.
RESULTS BY SECTOR
Revenues in the lottery sector were $284.3 million, up $179.6 million (+171.6%) compared to the same period last year.
It should be noted that this excellent result, achieved in part thanks to the strong performance of Lotto Max, exceeded the result for the first quarter of 2019–2020, i.e. before the pandemic, by $68.3 million (+31.6%).
In total, lottery games created 41 new millionaires in the province.
The conversion to online lottery games continued, although retailers were open throughout the quarter. At $35.5 million, online gaming revenues were up $5.5 million (+18.2%) compared to the same quarter last year.
Although operations at land-based casinos and gaming halls only resumed a few days before the end of the quarter, the sector's revenues of $76.2 million were up $23.5 million (+44.5%) compared to the first quarter of last year, when only the online casino was operating.
Restarting operations in a very short period of time was a major accomplishment.
There was no shortage of customers within a few days of reopening our gaming locations, and returning employees were delighted to be back.
The improved offering and website enhancements have helped to maintain the online casino's revenue growth. These revenues totalled $69.3 million, an increase of $16.6 million (+31.4%) over the same period in 2020–2021.
Tight control over expenses, which was necessary due to the reduced offer, combined with several cost reduction initiatives resulted in a decrease in total expenses of more than $60.7 million (–48.3%).
The gaming establishment sector reported revenues of $40.9 million.
No comparison can be made with the same period in 2020–2021 since all activities in the sector were suspended from March 2020 until the beginning of the second quarter of the same year.
Ann MacDonald was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors in late June. She succeeded Hélène F. Fortin, who had held this position since 2008.
The entire customer path in the casinos and gaming halls was reviewed prior to their reopening to ensure a safe and entertaining experience.
Significant efforts were made to resume Kinzo, network bingo and video lottery activities. By the end of June, nearly 90% of video lottery terminals had been reactivated.
The resumption of suspended activities allowed many laid-off employees to be called back to work.
Throughout June, Lotto Max offered record jackpots of over $100 million. The jackpot remained at $70 million for a record seven draws, and numerous Maxmillions were added, bringing it to $140 million.
Several lottery tickets created in partnership with Québec companies were launched, including Je rêve des Îles, Oh! Gelato! and BBQ Québec.
A new Kinzo hall opened on June 14 in the Pointe-aux-Trembles district of Montréal.
Aware that the festival industry has fallen on hard times in recent months, Loto–Québec has stepped up once again this year by supporting more than 50 events across the province.
The 2021–2023 Loto-Québec Social Responsibility Plan was adopted. Developed in line with the 2020–2023 Strategic Plan, it is based on four pillars: staff, players, the environment and the community.
Loto-Québec has demonstrated its commitment to diversity and inclusion through several initiatives. In addition to providing an inclusive workplace, it pays particular attention to its recruitment practices in order to increase the diversity of its workforce.
The report from the firm responsible for the independent audit on money laundering and loan sharking in Québec casinos and gaming halls, commissioned by the government, was made public. The Corporation welcomed the findings. It was also satisfied that the report confirmed that at no time was the independence of the Corporation's employees compromised. Many of the recommendations are in line with steps the Corporation has already taken.
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