European Gambling giants OPAP have seen a 25.9% decrease in Net profit for the 2017 financial year according to the company’s latest financial performance release for the 2017 financial year.
Athens based OPAP was established in 1958 as the country national lottery provider and became fully privatised in 2013, becoming the country’s leading sports betting firm and one of Europe’s largest. Despite what the company call Greece’s ‘macroeconomic problems’ which have led to a decrease in national disposable income, the company has been steadily growing since.
However, increased operating costs and long term investments to better place the company for future expansion has meant that despite the company increasing its gross gaming revenue to €1.45bn, an increase of 4.1%, as well as increasing gross profit from gaming operations during the 2017 financial year by 3.4% to €564.7m; the company still saw a large dip in its net profit.
Addressing the company's performance over 2017, OPAP’s CEO, Damian Cope said that: “2017 was a particularly busy year in terms of the overall level of change that OPAP underwent. Beginning with the new partnership agreement that we signed with our agents in Q1 we managed to successfully implement a number of new initiatives that will each act as solid foundations for the long–term benefit of the company and ensure the delivery of our 2020 Vision”.
These changes coupled with the company’s recent introduction of over 10,000 video lottery terminals last year made and an increased commitment to help provide better socially responsible gambling programmes suggests that the decrease in net profits from €170.2m in FY 2016 to €126.2m in the same period of 2017 could just be an anomaly moving forward.
Cope added: “During 2017 we also increased our commitment to society both within the area of responsible gaming and via our award-winning, social responsibility programme. Looking ahead to 2018, and while we will continue with our important technology and product roll-outs, notably VLTs and SSBTs, we will also be launching our new sportsbetting platforms – both OTC and online. Along with our customers we are looking forward to the highlight of the football calendar, the 2018 World Cup in Russia."