Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance

OPAP SA has disclosed double-digit declines across all core operating metrics as a result of closing its entire retail network (betting shops, gaming venues and lottery stalls) following Coronavirus restrictions enforced across Greece and Cyprus.

Publishing its Q1 2020 results, OPAP recorded group revenues of €328m down 17% on corresponding 2019’s €396m, as the Athens-listed gambling group disclosed that first-quarter group wagering did not surpass the standard €1 billion mark. 

Forced to suspend its entire retail capacity from 14 March (Greece and Cyprus units), OPAP saw its period EBITDA decline by 23% to €86m (Q12019: €113m).

Countering unprecedented headwinds, OPAP implemented an emergency cost reduction programme across its operating units, reducing payroll expenses and suspending advertising campaigns during the lockdown period.

Despite cost savings lowering group operating expenses by 16% to €95m, OPAP could not escape COVID-19 consequences as period net profits declined by 40% to €33m (Q12019: €57m).

Following the 58-day closure of its retail network, OPAP began to reopen Greek betting shops and lottery venues from 14 May following the Greek government’s approval to ease retail business restrictions.

This week, OPAP announced that it would begin the reopening of its PLAY’ gaming halls, as Greek leisure venues (restaurants, cafes, hotels) are allowed to reopen their businesses.

Publishing his first trading statement as OPAP Group CEO, Jan Karas commented on performance: “OPAP’s Q1 2020 was a double-faced quarter; on the one hand, we managed to demonstrate sizeable growth stemming mostly from VLTs and betting up to March 13th, while from March 14th onwards our retail estate was closed down leading to a severe decline of the Group’s revenues. 

“Nonetheless, we reported an overall solid set of results by putting promptly into effect our business continuity plan, achieving material cost savings and enhancing liquidity.”

“I would like to extend my appreciation to our network for both their swift adaptation to the new norm and working conditions as well as for their strong will to resume their business leading to an impressive 99% reactivation rate right from the very first day of reopening. I am confident that our agents’ and employees’ hard work, positive spirit and commitment will drive once more OPAP’s business forward.”

 

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