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Excellent financial results for OPAP despite the crisis

29 March 2012 / 18:03:29  GRReporter
3103 reads

Victoria Mindova

Monopolist in the Greek gambling market - the public company OPAP announced the results for 2011, which remain positive despite the crisis. The net profit of the company is more than 537 million euro, although last year was one of the worst for the Greek economy and recession exceeded 7%. The decline in the company’s net profit is 6.7% compared with the results from 2010, but given the circumstances and the macroeconomic conditions in the country, this decrease is not estimated as significant. The shares of the company are traded for around seven euro a share, which is half as much as last year values.

At a press conference presenting the annual operating result, the company's Chief Executive Officer Yiannis Spanoudakis said the average yield of OPAP shareholders is estimated at 10% compared to the data from the last ten years. One of the successful moves the company made last year was to extend the licence of the 11 games, which it offers on the Greek market, to 2030. OPAP will have a monopoly right to distribute them to 2020 and in the next decade, other companies will be eligible to participate in the operation of games such as Kino, Lotto, Joker and others.

Last year, the company acquired the right to introduce in the domestic market the so-called VLTmachines (Video Lottery Terminal). They are slot machines in which the bet is on the result of a video game. There is no extension of time in each game and the player's chances are not increased if playing longer.

VLT games will be launched in special gaming centres and OPAP does not intend to use the already established chain of state gambling with some 5,000 points across the country. The legal framework for the use of these slot machines should be approved and voted in the second quarter of the year. The technical provider to install and maintain them will be selected through a public competition in the third quarter and they must be operating at the end of the year. Currently, I2 (Intralot), G2 (Lottomatica) and Playtech have applied to assume the technical maintenance of the new electronic gambling machines.

OPAP’s management is not enthusiastic about the partial privatization of the company, but has emphasized that those who decide to invest in it can expect a jump in profit. OPAP is soon expected to bring to market 29% of the shares as part of the privatization programme in the country. According to Spanoudakis, the interested investor or investors will see the prospects for profit provided by OPAP on the one hand and on the other, will give a vote of confidence in Greece. "Such an action would mean that investors consider the financial risk in the country manageable." It is not yet confirmed that OPAP will be in the list for privatization by the end of 2012.

 

Tags: EconomyCompaniesOPAPGamblingGreeceProfitVLTs
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