Sports betting the star performer.

French operator Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) has cited the continued downturn in local economic conditions as having a major impact on its performance but says strong international results continue to drive growth.

Total gross gaming revenues amounted to Euro 1.796 billion, up 0.7 percent, mainly driven by International growth which was up 46.9 percent.

Sports betting stakes increased 24.5 percent to Euro 213.3 million and gross gaming revenue rose 12.2 percent to Euro 34.4 million.

Poker stakes decreased 2.4 percent, however gross gaming revenue increased by 6 percent.

Local horse race betting continued to decline with French stakes down 4.9 percent and total stakes down 1.6 percent to Euro 6.541 billion.

PMU says it continues to focus on modernization and transformation to revive horse race betting in the French market.  Initiatives include the renovation of 13 000 retail outlets and the launch of SMS betting which has reportedly been well received.