Thursday August 28,2014 : OPAP RESULTS HIT BY 2010 TAX DEMAND
Greek online and land gambling monopoly reports Q2 results.
Earlier this week the privatised Greek gambling monopoly OPAP warned the market that a tax demand dating from 2010 would impact its quarterly earnings, and that proved to be the case Wednesday, when the operator booked a Euro 29.6 million tax debit, explaining that historically it had negotiated a deferred payment with the Greek government which fell due in the second quarter.
Euro 8 million of the tax hit had been paid earlier, the company said, adding that it believes it has a credible case for an appeal to have half the amount refunded.
The company, which has already axed hundreds of jobs, mainly in its retail operations, continued to cut costs and saw quarterly earnings rise 50 percent, additionally aided by contributions from the new GTech-powered online sportsbook and scratchcard initiatives.
Q2 revenues were up 8 percent, whilst earnings sailed past analyst's expectations at Euro 68.6 million on sales of Euro 363 million – a rise of over 31 percent.
In company with many other gambling groups around the world, OPAP benefitted from the surge in sports betting triggered by the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. This was especially true of its new online sportsbook, which launched just weeks ahead of the football festival and produced handsome results.
The new Hellenic Lotteries product, barely two months in operation, also delivered an impressive performance, contributing revenue of Euro 20 million…most of it from scratch card sales.
The Euro 21.6 million owed to the Greek taxman hit profits, which fell 44.5 percent to Euro 15.7 million.