OPAP still committed to VLT launch

OPAP still committed to VLT launch

Friday, August 28, 2015
The Greek firm announced big leaps in revenues and profits in H1

Greek gaming giant OPAP has reiterated its commitment to its video lottery terminal (VLT) business despite suspending the launch almost two months ago.

As the company announced that revenues, earnings and profits all soared in the six months to June 30, OPAP stressed that it is committed to the VLTs even after it had said in July that new restrictions introduced by the “render the project no longer economically viable”.

OPAP, which won the exclusive right to run VLTs in Greece back in 2011 but has seen a series of delays since then, had predicted it would make between up to €1bn ($1.1bn) per year in revenue from more than 35,000 machines in its own properties and in other sub-contracted venues. 

“Alongside the legacy game improvement strategy, the company puts emphasis on widening the product offering through the introduction of new games such as VLTs, which have demonstrated their potential in other European geographies,” OPAP said in its interim report.

“In any case, OPAP assures its investors, its partners and its employees that it remains absolutely focused on its investment and shall continue to take all appropriate actions to arrive at a reasonable and balanced regulatory framework that secures public interest and public revenues and at the same time allows the economic viability of the VLT business for OPAP and its operators.”

In a June proposal that the ailing Greek government made to creditors, officials estimated that it could reap some €35m in 2015 and €225m in 2016 in revenues from VLTs. However, it also set new rules on daily loss, playing time and jackpot limits that OPAP found untenable.

OPAP recorded a positive first half of 2015, with revenues up 13 per cent to €2.16bn, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) up 28.6 per cent at €186.4m and net profit up 68.3 per cent at €109.9m.

Kamil Ziegler, OPAP’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Our performance in Q2 2015 emphatically demonstrates that our efforts proved fruitful in all fronts; our legacy portfolio revenue uplift, the continuing containment of the group’s controllable costs and the increased customer satisfaction levels.

“Our actions enabled OPAP to more than offset last year’s positive impact of the 2014 World Cup and report further core business growth, while at the same time increasing the tangible and recurring contribution to the Greek State revenues.”

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