OPAP SA Q1 Rocked By Greek Retail Closures

OPAP SA has recorded double-digit declines across all core operating metrics as a result of the complete closure of its retail network (betting shops, gaming halls and lottery stalls) following Coronavirus restrictions imposed across Greece and Cyprus.

Publishing its Q1 2020 results, OPAP reported group revenues of € 328 million down 17  percent on the corresponding €396 million in 2019, as the gambling company listed in Athens disclosed that first-quarter company wagering did not surpass the €1 billion mark norm.

Required to suspend its entire retail capacity from 14 March (Greece and Cyprus units), OPAP saw its EBITDA decline to €86 m (Q12019: €113 m) by 23 per cent.

OPAP implemented an emergency cost reduction programme across its operating units to counter unprecedented headwinds, decreasing payroll expenses and suspending advertising campaigns during the lockdown period.

Despite cost savings which reduced group operating expenses by 16 percent to €95 million, OPAP could not escape COVID-19 consequences as net profit decreased by 40 percent to €33 million (Q1 2019: €57 million).

Having followed the 58-day closure of its retail network, OPAP began reopening Greek betting shops and lottery venues from 14 May following approval by the Greek government to ease the restrictions on retail business.

OPAP announced this week that it would start reopening its ‘PLAY’ gaming halls, as Greek recreation venues (restaurants, cafes, hotels) are allowed to reopen their businesses.

Jan Karas commented on the performance when publishing his first trading statement as CEO of the OPAP Group: “OPAP’s Q1 2020 was a double-faced quarter; on the one hand, we managed to demonstrate sizeable growth stemming mostly from VLTs and betting up to March 13th, while from March 14th onwards our retail estate was closed down leading to a severe decline of the Group’s revenues.

“Nonetheless, we reported an overall solid set of results by putting promptly into effect our business continuity plan, achieving material cost savings and enhancing liquidity.”

“I would like to extend my appreciation to our network for both their swift adaptation to the new norm and working conditions as well as for their strong will to resume their business leading to an impressive 99% reactivation rate right from the very first day of reopening. I am confident that our agents’ and employees’ hard work, positive spirit and commitment will drive once more OPAP’s business forward.”