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Revenue hits €2.08bn in record 2023 for OPAP

| By Robert Fletcher
Greek gambling group OPAP reported record revenue of €2.08bn (£1.79bn/$2.28bn) during its 2023 financial year, with growth across all core business segments.
OPAP 2023

Gross gaming revenue was 7.7% higher year-on-year at OPAP in 2023. The group said this was driven by “strong” online growth alongside a “solid’ retail performance.

Lottery remained the primary source of revenue for OPAP in 2023, although it was also the area of least growth. Online casino reported the highest increase, with revenue here rising 26.2%.

There were some challenges for OPAP in 2023. One bump in the road came in the form of a €24.5m fine from the Hellenic Gaming Commission. Issued in October, this was in reference to OPAP abusing its position in the Greek market. 

However, reflecting on 2023, CEO Jan Karas was hugely positive. He hailed OPAP’s ongoing business strategy and its impact on operations. 

Karas also noted the impact of a strong fourth quarter, during which revenue also reached an all-time high. The group put this down to a continuous focus on digitalisation, with its online casino business again posting the highest percentage of growth.

“OPAP concluded 2023 with the strongest Q4 ever and achieved record revenues,” Karas said. “This development clearly reflects the consistent and effective implementation of our business strategy throughout the year, as well as our ability to pursue and achieve ambitious goals.

“In Q4, both our retail and online business posted solid growth, driven by our continuous focus on digitalisation. As a result of last quarter’s positive financial and operating performance, recurring EBITDA outperformed our latest outlook.”

Lottery leads the way for OPAP

Breaking down OPAP’s financial performance in 2023, lottery again drew the most revenue at €730.0m. This was 2.9% higher than the previous year on the back of solid KINO results for the year.

lottery drew the most revenue at €730.0m. This was 2.9% higher than the previous year

Sports betting revenue increased 6.9% to €645.5m following strong performances by both its Powerspin and virtual products. OPAP also noted the success of its online sports wagering offering.

Turning to video lottery terminals (VLTs), revenue increased 8.2% to €344.5m. In addition, instant and passives revenue was 7.4% higher in 2023 at €115.9m.

However, the area of most growth for OPAP was online casino, with revenue here up 26.2% to €251.8m. OPAP said this increase was driven by higher player engagement levels, with particular success in Q4.

Net profit slips 30.5%

net profit was down 30.5% with increased payroll, marketing and operating expenses

In terms of spending, gaming revenue expenses were the main outgoing at €583.4m, up 9.1%. Payroll costs were up 8.6% to €91.8m, marketing spend climbed 10.4% to €123.4m and other operating expenses increased 17.5% to €198.5m.

Depreciation and amortisation costs hit €133.6m while net finance costs hit €20.1m. This left a pre-tax profit of €570.1m, down 21.2% year-on-year.

OPAP paid €156.0m in tax, resulting in an annual net profit of €408.3m, down 31.1% from 2022. In addition, EBITDA dipped 0.8% to €730.0m.

Finishing 2023 strong with record Q4

Looking to Q4, group revenue was 7.5% higher at €581.2m. Lottery revenue edged up 1.9% to €197.6m, sports betting revenue grew 12.4% to €180.9m, VLTs revenue increased 3.0% to €96.2m and online casino revenue jumped 25.7% to €76.3m. However, there was a 5.2% drop in instant and passives revenue to €30.2m.

Spending-wise, gaming revenue related expenses increased 6.7% to €163.0m, while payroll costs were up 0.8% to €23.7m. Marketing spend was reduced by 9.5% to €38.7m but other operating expenses were 9.7% higher at €52.1m.

OPAP did not publish a full breakdown of additional finance information for Q4. However, it did note that net profit was 67.2% lower year-on-year at €100.6m. This decline was due to a one-off profit in Q4 of 2022, which included a €181.3m profit from the disposal of Betano.

However, there was better news in terms of EBITDA, which increased 3.7% to €210.2m.

In addition, OPAP also published preliminary guidance for 2024. The group said revenue will likely be between €2.15bn and €2.20bn for the year, the midpoint of which would represent a 4.2% increase. EBITDA is set to range between €750.0m and €770.0m, with the middle of this being 4.1% higher.

“Looking ahead, in line with our Fast Forward business strategy, we remain committed to further upgrading our proposition, securing sound growth and profitability, rewarding our shareholders and delivering on our sustainability and social responsibility objectives,” Karas said.

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