OPAP profits fall in 2016

Greek government’s tax raise impacted on OPAP, making its earnings drop one fifth in 2016.

Greece.- 2016 was a tough year for Greek betting and lottery operator OPAP as their profits fell almost one-fifth due to an incrase in taxes.

On its anual report, relased on Wednesday, OPAP showed gross gaming revenue from both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year 2016 barely changed from the same periods one year earlier, but full-year earnings fell 18.4 percent to 307.5 million euros and net profit dropped 19.2 percent to 170.2 million.

The Greek government was the main responsible for the profit loss, since it raised OPAP’s tax obligation from 30 to 35 percent of gross gaming revenue. The company explained that this increase, which was applied retroactively to January 1, 2016, cost the company 57.5 million extra euros last year.

The company’s sports betting operations also saw a revenue drop of 3.6 percent to 397.2 million euros last year, but the company speculated with the fact that the fourth quarter figure was up 3.2 percent year-on-year, which OPAP credited to “efficient payout management.”

OPAP’s lottery division reported revenue up 1.4 percent to 841.3 million euros in 2016, despite the fourth quarter numbers plunging 3 percent due to less jackpot rollovers in its Joker product and adverse comparisons with a gonzo performance by its KINO Bonus product in the last quarter of 2015.

The Instant & Passives division reported essentially A flat revenue of 159 million was reported by the Instant & Passives division, but they closed out the year having posted some positive growth for two consecutive quarters.

Damian Cope, OPAP’s CEO, stated that the company pulled off a “solid’ performance despite the increased tax burden and the country’s economic issues. He also showed himself pleased with the progress the company had made on the strategic vision he outlined shortly after being named CEO last May.