OPAP diversifies commercial make-up against continued pandemic headwinds

By | May 20, 2021

OPAP has reported a ‘record quarter’ for online revenue in its Q1 2021 report, offsetting significant revenue reductions in the retail sector as a consequence of continued pandemic-related lockdowns.

The Athens-listed group’s online verticals ‘demonstrated significant growth’, attributed by the company to to both the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the increased contribution made by Kaizen Gaming the operating firm of Stoiximan – the Greek market’s leading online gambling operator. 

Total online revenue rose to €122.4 million, aided by the Kaizen consolidation, providing financial support against a continued retail decline, as OPAP venues recorded a decrease in income year-on-year by 46.9% to €174.2 million (2020: €328.3 million)

Additionally, net profit for the first quarter declined to €10.3m in contrast to the €35.5 million recorded  in Q1 2020, a decrease of 71.1%, whilst EBITDA also dropped by 29% to  €61.3 million (2020: €86.4 million), assisted by the recognition of €45.5 million.

Of the group’s verticals, betting generated the most significant revenues, with a total of €82.4 million in earnings recorded, representing 47.3% of total group income.

Although this represented a 6.4% drop from the Q1 2020 figure of €88 million, the figure demonstrates a major step forward for OPAP’s betting operations, having previously accounted for 26.8% of group revenue 12 months previously. 

These earnings were also bolstered by earnings from the group newly launched online casino operation, which reached revenues of €47.3 million, accounting for 27.2% of total revenue, helping to offset further losses recorded from the Instant & Passives vertical, which experienced a year-on-year decline of 59% to €7.9 million (2020: €19.2 million).

Lottery, meanwhile, saw an even bigger drop in revenue by 76.3%, plummeting from to  €36.6 million (2020: €154.5 million), whilst Gross Profit from gaming operations in Q1 2021 stood at €75.6 million (2020: €122.4 million), a drop of 38.2% following revenues’ decline. 

OPAP underscored that a ‘disproportionate contribution’ by Hellenic Lotteries, conducted in order to meet the annual contractual threshold of €50 million, had burdened its lottery results. 

Jan Karas, CEO of OPAP, remarked: “In the first quarter of the year, online demonstrated a record quarter achieving remarkable growth, while on the retail front, revenues were expectedly affected by the lockdown and stores’ closure across our networks.”

Following stores reopening the Company’s Board of Directors decided to revise upwards its proposal to the upcoming AGM to be held on June 17th 2021 for the distribution of a dividend for the fiscal year 2020 at €0.55 per share before the tax deduction (vs. €0.45 per share initially). It is reminded that subject to AGM approval, the exdividend date is set on 13 July 2021, while the payment to the entitled shareholders will commence on 03 August 2021.  

Finally, despite the financial setbacks of the first quarter, the group anticipates a major boost to revenues following the reopening of Greek retail stories on 12 April, coupled with its newly found success in online verticals.

Karas continued: “We are excited with both the OPAP stores re-opening on April 12th as well as the imminent VLTs activity restart. Performance wise the early signs are particularly encouraging for retail while at the same time our online business remains strong.

“Going forward, we remain committed to provide prime services to the clients across all channels setting the ground to offer a top class customer experience in the forthcoming large betting events like the UEFA Euro 2020.”