Monday May 21, 2012 : WEAK Q1-2012 NUMBERS FROM OPAP
 
Greek gambling monopoly feels the economic pinch…and again delays privatisation
 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the tough economic conditions, the Greek gambling monopoly OPAP turned in a weak set of Q1-2012 numbers this week, reporting:
 
• Revenues down 5 percent to Euro 1,065.2 million (2011: Euro 1,121.4 million)
 
• EBITDA 13.9 percent lower to Euro 184.4 million (2011: Euro 214.2 million)
 
• Distribution costs down by 7.6 percent at Euro 28.5 million (2011: Euro 30.9 million)
 
• Net Profit down 20.9 percent to Euro 131.9 million (2011: Euro 166.9 million)
 
• Cash position of Euro 360.5 million
 
Breaking the figures down, sports betting turnover declined 2.2 percent to Euro 429.7 million; games slipped 6.8 percent to Euro 635 milion, and revenues from the fixed-odds betting game Stihima dipped 7.7 percent to Euro 397.1 million.
 
Commenting on the period January to March 2012, OPAP chairman and CEO, Ioannis Spanoudakis described the company's performance as "resilient" despite a "negative macroeconomic environment" in which the Q1 Greek GDP had dipped 6.2 percent.
 
"Although the economic conditions will remain very challenging and volatile throughout the year, OPAP will continue to pursue the execution of its growth strategy; Live betting introduction (in time for Euro 2012 football), VLTs implementation, entry in the online market and the participation in the tender process for the Hellenic Lotteries exclusive license,” he said.
 
With the Greek political and economic crisis worsening by the day, the government again postponed the sale of its interest in OPAP, with privatisation sources hinting that the sell-off would not take place until the political upheaval is settled, hopefully in new elections mid-June.