World Cup and VLTs drive OPAP growth

13 September 2018

OPAP CEO Damian Cope has claimed the company remains on course to deliver strategic objectives set out in its ‘2020 Vision’ roadmap after its video lottery terminals (VLTs) and sports betting divisions sparked revenue and profit growth in the first half of 2018.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) hit €737.5m (£656m/$860m) in the six months through to June 30, up 7.1% on last year, while net profit rocketed by 32.9% to €66.1m. EBITDA was also up by 20.5% year-on-year to €157.4m at the Greek company.

The second-quarter figures illustrated that the company had built on a positive opening three months of the year.

Lottery remained the main source of income at OPAP despite gross sales in this sector falling by 10% year-on-year to €371.5m.

In contrast, gross betting revenue was up 7.3% to €202.4m, boosted by additional activity around the football World Cup, while VLT revenue hiked from €9.4m to €89.4m.

“Our results continue to be boosted by the growing contribution from VLTs and the improvement of our overall product portfolio,” Cope said. “During Q2 we also benefited from the busy first few weeks of the World Cup where we saw increasing adoption of our rapidly expanding number of self-service betting terminals.

“Although the recovery of the economy has not yet decisively aided private consumption, OPAP continues to deliver on its strategic objectives on the path to our 2020 Vision.

“For the remainder of the year, we will be focusing on the development of our VLTs customer base, the introduction of new lottery and betting products in our shops and the launch of our new online platform.”

OPAP’s results come at an uncertain time for the Greek gambling market after the national government this week launched a consultation into proposed regulatory changes.

Published by the Greek Ministry of Finance, the regulations state that an internet sports betting licence will cost €4m, but operators will need to pay an additional €1m to offer other online gaming services.

Image: Антон Зайцев