Year of adjustments sees OPAP financials impacted by higher taxes and infrastructure costs

Presenting its full-year 2016 results, Greek gambling operator OPAP details that its financial performance has been impacted by higher tax charges combined with a higher operational outlay as the firm prepares for significant operational changes in 2017

While OPAP sustained total group wagering at €4.2 billion and group gross gaming revenues at €1.39 billion, the firm’s earnings and profit metrics would be significantly impacted by the Hellenic government tax hike to 35% on betting and gaming services.

Closing its FY 2016 performance, OPAP governance would report a Group EBITDA of €307 million down 18% on corresponding FY 2015’s €377 million. The declined earnings result would see OPAP governance declare FY year profits of €170 million down 19% on FY 2015’s €210 million.

Despite the firm’s woes, New CEO Damien Cope (appointed May 2016) stated that the firm had performed to within its expectations, in what was a tough year of adjustments for OPAP operations and services.

Looking forward, this March OPAP governance secured a €200 million bond issue, through Greek and foreign investors, which will be used to spend on corporate infrastructure projects.

In Q1 2017, the firm has begun its rollout of new video lottery and self-service betting terminals powered by Playtech BGT. Furthermore, the company has pushed for the integration of new player management and business intelligence systems which will better connect its 350 Greek retail betting points.

Damien Cope commented on corporate progress: “During 2016 I set out the company’s long-term ambition and the key strategic priorities, and I am pleased with the progress that the OPAP team has achieved across many of the key initiatives. 2017 will be a year of unprecedented levels of change for OPAP, and we have started well.

“The year began with the smooth deployment of the first VLT machines in our new ‘Play’ Gaming Halls. We also concluded agreements with our new technology partners and worked on this transformation program is well underway. More recently we successfully launched a common retail bond and finalised a new contractual relationship with our agent network.

“Although there is still a long way to go I am confident that the successful delivery of our plans for 2017 will act as a major step forward in the achievement of our “2020 Vision.”

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