OPAP SA remains confident in achieving its full-year 2023 financial targets despite its business units enduring a difficult Q3 trading period.
In its latest quarterly update, the Athens-listed gaming group reported year-to-date revenues of €1.50bn, marking an 8% increase from the previous year’s €1.39bn.
However, OPAP’s commercial momentum experienced a slowdown in Q3, with a 3.5% decline in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) to €480m. The downturn was primarily attributed to unfavourable jackpot rollovers which impacted its Lottery unit and a period of higher sports betting payouts leading to adverse results.
Despite facing headwinds during this period, OPAP has underlined the robust performance of its flagship Lottery division, which posted a year-to-date GGR of €533 million, a 3% increase. This was accompanied by a 4.5% rise in sports betting revenues, amounting to €464m.
The period’s trading results also brought into focus the significant commercial impact of OPAP’s expanded online gambling division, which generated a strong year-to-date growth of €175m, a 26% increase with €63m generated in Q3 alone.
The company’s gross profit from both retail and online operations grew by 7% year-over-year to €616m, even as it faced a 5.5% drop to €193m in Q3 2023 when compared to the 2022 figures.
OPAP’s financial statements revealed a 19% rise in year-to-date operating expenses which reached €299m, indicative of the company’s investment in expanding its retail and online operations.
EBITDA for the nine months of 2023 were reported at €520m, a slight decrease of 2.5% compared to the previous year. A sharper fall was seen in the third quarter, with EBITDA dropping by 26.4% to €145m, primarily due to the increased operating expenses.
In response to the volatility in the sports betting market and the impact of unique domestic events that have affected lottery outcomes, OPAP maintains a steady EBITDA forecast of €720-€740m for the full trading year.
Group CEO Jan Karas emphasised the firm’s solid performance in the face of year-end challenges, emphasising a strategic shift to bolster its presence in the Greek online gambling market.
“OPAP reported a commendable performance in Q3, underscored by continuous growth online, despite tough year-over-year comparatives and headwinds affecting top-line growth,” said Karas.
“Throughout the quarter, our focus remained on implementing strategic priorities, aiming to enhance our product offering and strengthen our online business sector.”
Karas added: “As the year draws to a close, our confidence is unshaken in the resilience of our business model, which we believe will continue to yield robust returns for our shareholders and meet our commitments to sustainability and social responsibility.”