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Greece – OPAP blames loss of profit on new Greek gambling tax

By - 2 April 2014

Greek gambling operator OPAP has blamed a new tax for a huge 72 per cent slump in net profit for 2013.

The government imposed a 30 per cent tax on OPAP’s gross gaming revenue as part of the terms to a €237bn bailout, resulting in €345m coming off its 2013 profit.

The group reported net profit of €141m, missing analysts’ forecasts of €152.7m by some distance. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped by 67 per cent to €221.7m, well below the company’s guidance of €242m

The one silver lining was that although revenue dropped by 6.6 per cent to €3.7bn during 2013, they improved slightly in the third quarter for the first time in three years. The positive upswing continued during the last quarter of 2013 with a four per cent rise.

OPAP’s Chairman and CEO Kamil Ziegler said: “Within an overall difficult year for the Greek economy, OPAP’s financial results of the fourth quarter mark an encouraging trend. The addition of extra features in a variety of products in our portfolio, along with the stabilization of consumer spending, led to an increase of revenues year-on-year, which is a positive indication for 2014. It is important to note that 2013 was the first year that a 30 per cent GGR tax was applied, which in terms of OPAP’s numbers translates into a yield of €345m for the Greek state. We remain focused on the improvement of OPAP’s operational efficiency as well as on the modernisation of our product portfolio, towards the benefit of all our stakeholders: customers, agents, shareholders and the Greek state and society as a whole.”

Lottery provider Intralot meanwhile has received assurance for the integrity of its systems and operations with OPAP.

Konstantinos Farris, Intralot Group Chief Technology Officer, said: “Since its outset, Intralot has developed a customer-oriented philosophy with focus on adopting holistic solutions that secure the efficiency of its operations and the integrity of its systems for the benefit of our clients. Particularly for OPAP, this prestigious and globally acknowledged assurance report is an excellent example of the implementation of Intralot’s strategic decision to provide tailored state of the art solutions to address customized needs.”

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