OPAP chief has high hopes for Hellenic Lotteries, Stihima

OPAP chief has high hopes for Hellenic Lotteries, Stihima

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kamil Ziegler, the chairman and chief executive of OPAP, is confident that the Greek gambling company will achieve its full-year financial targets after its figures for the third quarter were boosted by its Hellenic Lotteries business and Stihima sports betting services.

In the three months through to September 30, OPAP’s revenue increased year-on-year by 19.1 per cent to €1.1bn ($1.3bn), with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation improving by nearly a third to €94.2m and net profit jumping by 26 per cent to €121.3m.

“Q3 proved to be a solid quarter and the figures make us confident that our expectations of double-digit revenue growth for the year will be met with stable profitability conversions,” Ziegler said on a conference call this (Wednesday) afternoon.

Hellenic Lotteries generated revenue of €252.1m in the first nine months of 2014, with €88.4m generated by scratch cards and overall profit margins increasing “significantly”.

“We have recently launched a new series of tickets to refresh interest,” Ziegler said.

“Going forward, we remain cautiously confident for the future and focus our efforts on the timely execution of our plan so as to conclude the rollout of 16,500 VLTs by the end of 2015.”

The roll-out of the VLTs, which will offer a revenue-sharing model, will begin in the second quarter of next year, Ziegler added.

Stihima’s revenue improved for a fifth consecutive month with a 21.1-per-cent rise year-on-year. The conclusion of the World Cup event in July and an increase in live betting were key drivers.

“We’ll focus on enhancing the product and expect live betting revenues next year to gain additional ground,” Ziegler said.

OPAP’s revenue for the first nine months of 2014 was just under €3bn, a 12.9-per-cent rise on the €2.6bn posted for the corresponding period in 2013.

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