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In its Q1 2021 study, OPAP announced a ‘record quarter’ for online sales, offsetting substantial revenue losses in the retail sector as a result of ongoing pandemic-related lockdowns.
The online verticals of the Athens-listed company ‘demonstrated substantial growth,’ which the company attributes to both the COVID-19 pandemic and Kaizen Gaming, the operating group behind Stoiximan, the Greek market’s leading online gambling operator.
Total online sales increased to €122.4 million, assisted by the Kaizen merger, offering financial help against continuing retail declines, as OPAP venues recorded a 46.9 percent drop in revenue to €174.2 million (2020: €328.3 million).
In addition, net profit for the first quarter fell by 71.1 percent to €10.3 million, compared to €35.5 million in Q1 2020, while EBITDA fell by 29 percent to €61.3 million (2020: €86.4 million), aided by the identification of €45.5 million.
Betting provided the most revenue of the group’s verticals, accounting for €82.4 million in earnings, or 47.3 percent of total revenue.
While this represents a 6.4 percent decrease from the €88 million figure recorded in Q1 2020, it represents a significant improvement for OPAP’s betting operations, which previously accounted for 26.8 percent of group sales.
Newly launched online casino
The group’s newly launched online casino service also helped to boost profits, accounting for 27.2 percent of overall sales at €47.3 million and helping to mitigate more declines in the Instant & Passives vertical, which saw a 59 percent year-on-year decline to €7.9 million (2020: €19.2 million).
Meanwhile, lottery income fell by 76.3 percent to €36.6 million (2020: €154.5 million), while gross profit from gaming activities fell by 38.2 percent to €75.6 million (2020: €122.4 million) in Q1 2021.
Hellenic Lotteries made a “disproportionate contribution” to reach the annual contractual threshold of €50 million, according to OPAP, which harmed its lottery performance.
Lockdown affects retail front
OPAP’s CEO, Jan Karas, stated: “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.”
OPAP listed a proposal by the Board of Directors ahead of the upcoming group AGM for the distribution of a dividend for the fiscal year at €0.55 per share before tax deduction as a significant development in the first quarter, in addition to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these strong financial setbacks, the group expects a significant increase in sales as a result of the reopening of Greek retail stores on April 12th, as well as its newfound success in online verticals.
Encouraging early signs
Karas went on to said: “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.”