Assets Help SAZKA Weather COVID-19 Q1 Storm

Citing novel coronavirus impacts across its European network, the consolidated Q1 revenues of the Czech gambling and lottery conglomerate SAZKA Group fell by 11 percent to €405 million (Q1 2019: €458 million).

The group cited trading under extraordinary circumstances in an analysis of Q1 results, in which subsidiaries OPAP Greece, Casinos Austria and LOTTO Italia have been pushed to suspend their entire retail presence since mid-March.

COVID-19 disruptions meant that SAZKA ‘s revenue potential was restricted to its Czech Rep (SAZKABET) and Austria (Tipp3) digital assets and POS networks which remained uninterrupted.

As a result, SAZKA announced that Q1 consolidated EBITDA fell by 23 percent to €117 million (Q1 2019: €151 million), as corporate income dropped by 51 percent to €43 million (Q1 2019: €87 million).

Despite group output being shaken by COVID-19 circumstances, SAZKA reported it completed a number of strategic initiatives over the span, settling its Austrian government shareholder dispute over Casinos Austria ownership.

SAZKA also reiterated its support of the OPAP subsidiary by acquiring outright leading Greek online bookmaker Stoiximan, extending the digital capabilities of the firm.

Robert Chvatal, CEO of the SAZKA Group, praised the work and leadership of the subsidiaries of the company that had ‘weathered the challenges’ of an unprecedented situation as their focus shifted to retail re-openings in June.

He remarked: “We benefited in particular from our diverse range of products, sales channels, and geographic exposure, our favourable cost structure, and our strong liquidity.

“I am extremely proud of the resilience our businesses have shown and I would like to thank the entire SAZKA Group team for their hard work and perseverance, and for seizing opportunities to progress our strategic priorities during a period which has on a personal level been very difficult for many of us.”