SAZKA confident of European comeback as assets weather COVID-19 storm

Citing novel coronavirus impacts across its European network, Czech gambling and lottery conglomerate SAZKA Group saw its consolidated Q1 revenues decline by 11% to €405m (Q1 2019: €458m).

In an overview of Q1 performance, the group cited trading under unprecedented circumstances, in which subsidiaries OPAP Greece, Casinos Austria and LOTTO Italia have been forced to suspend their entire retail presence since mid-March. 

COVID-19 disruptions meant SAZKA’s revenue capacity was limited to its digital assets and POS networks in Czech Rep (SAZKA Hry / SAZKA Bet) and Austria (Tipp3/Win2Day) which have remained without interruption.

As a result, SAZKA disclosed that Q1 consolidated EBITDA decreased by 23% to €124m (Q1 2019: €162m), as corporate profits decline by 51% to €43m (Q1 2019: €87m).

Despite group performance being rocked by COVID-19 circumstances, SAZKA confirmed that it achieved a number of strategic initiatives during the period, settling its Novomatic co-shareholder dispute with regards to the ownership of Casinos Austria. 

In addition, SAZKA reiterated its support of subsidiary OPAP by acquiring leading Greek online bookmaker Stoiximan outright, expanding the firm’s digital capabilities.

SAZKA Group CEO Robert Chvatal praised the work and leadership of the firm’s subsidiaries which had ‘weathered the challenges’ of an unprecedented situation, as its focus shifted to June retail reopenings. 

He noted: “We benefited in particular from our diverse range of products, sales channels, and geographic exposure, our favourable cost structure, and our strong liquidity.

“I am extremely proud of the resilience our businesses have shown and I would like to thank the entire SAZKA Group team for their hard work and perseverance, and for seizing opportunities to progress our strategic priorities during a period which has on a personal level been very difficult for many of us.”

 

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