VLT upgrades deliver for Greek OPAP chasing its 2020 vision

The governance of Athens-listed gambling group OPAP SA publishes its 2019 interim results (period ending 30 June), confident of delivering on its future prospects, serving the mandate of its 2020 corporate vision.

Updating the market, OPAP records a 6% increase in group gross gambling revenues (GGR) to €779 million (H1 2018: €737m), driven the significant improvement of its upgraded retail VLTs and higher lottery contributions.

A breakdown of OPAP verticals sees VLT marked as the standout performer, increasing GGR by 56% to €140 million (H1 2018: €90m) helping offset a 5% GGR decrease within its betting division to €191 million (H1 2018:€202m), primarily attributed to tough yearly comparatives for sports betting.

Highlighted as a key 2019 directive, OPAP reports that it has integrated 20,000 new VLTs across 1950 betting shops and 365 gaming halls, with the company on target to complete its full 25,000 VLT upgrade by the end of the year.

In its update, OPAP governance highlights a number of operating gains, with the company able to reduce corporate expenses down to €138 million (H12018: €147m)m reducing period marketing costs to €31 million (€34m).

OPAP’s improved revenue performance and  lower operating costs would see the Athens listed operator post a 21% EBITDA increase to €198 million (H1 2018: €157.4m), combined with group profits of €92 million (H1 2018: €66.m)

Damian Cope OPAP, Group CEO commented on the firm’s performance “The delivery of our 2020 Vision, and the transformation of OPAP into a world-class gaming entertainment company continues apace with further improvements being seen across every part of our business. In just the last three years we have succeeded in renewing or upgrading over a third of our large retail network in Greece, and we are very encouraged by the positive performance and customer reaction in these new, larger venues.”

“Online remains a key area of focus as we further develop our dual strategy, via OPAP Online and our investment in Stoiximan Group. We are seeing good growth in the customer bases of both operations and are confident that we will continue to see growth from both businesses for some time to come.”

“Overall, the OPAP Team has delivered a solid performance in the first half of 2019 and we all believe we are well placed to sustain this momentum for the rest of 2019 and successfully fulfil our targets for the year.”

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