OPAP expects strong recovery after revenue falls 35% in H1

OPAP's revenue for the six months ending June 30 came in at €507.9m.
OPAP's revenue for the six months ending June 30 came in at €507.9m.

The Greek operator was hit hard by the pandemic but is seeing signs of a strong recovery.

Greece.- Gaming operator OPAP saw revenue fall 34.8 per cent year-on-year in the first half due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenue for the six months ending June 30 dropped to €507.9m as wagers fell 33.7 per cent to €1.41bn.

OPAP says it has since seen numbers recover sharply after the easing of Greek lockdown restrictions from May 11 and the resumption of international sports events.

The pandemic hit almost every vertical for the Sazka-owned operator.

Lottery, the operator’s biggest product, took a 32.1 per cent dive, down from €379.3m in H1 2019 to €257.5m due to the closure of retail sites.

However, OPAP says lottery revenue has bounced back hard despite the continuation of distancing measures at reopened stores.

It also said that its online Joker game, one of the few products to see revenue grow in the half, appears to have sustained the growth seen under lockdown after retail sites reopened.

Video lottery terminal revenue fell 36.8 per cent for the six months to €88.4m since machines were offline until June 8, but OPAP says it has since seen double-digit growth. 

Revenue from sports betting was also hit hard, dropping 33.1 per cent year-on-year to €128.4m for the six months as a whole. Again OPAP says it has seen a strong rebound with revenue up year-on-year since the resumption of sports events from mid-May onwards. 

OPAP’s gaming levy and duties fell 32 per cent to €172.7m and commission payments to agents dropped 35.5 per cent to €119.5m while operating expenses fell just 6.9 per cent to €124.8m.

EBITDA came in at €102.5m, a drop of 49.1 per cent year on year. Net profit dropped 80.3 per cent to €18.1m.

OPAP’s acting chief executive, Jan Karas, said: “The decisive and prompt actions taken by OPAP to mitigate the pandemic’s impact for all of its stakeholders have been reflected in the company’s financial results, which were once more sound, as well as in its evolving socio-economic footprint.

“When it comes to the financials, Q2 moved alongside our demanding expectations, leading to cash generation even during the harshest of times.

“Going forward, initiatives such as the constant enhancement of our online offering, prompt cost control actions, the swift adaptation to a new working norm and the ongoing support of our network and our social stakeholders remain at the forefront of our attention.

“Undoubtedly, there will be additional hurdles on the road to recovery but we are confident that we are well positioned to face any challenges.”

Last month, OPAP completed its acquisition of a 51% stake in Stoiximan and is looking to take outright control of the operator.

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