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Intralot lining up deals in mature markets

| By iGB Editorial Team
FX ‘turmoil’ hits first-half earnings as operator switches focus to low-risk markets

Intralot is set to announce a series of tender wins in mature markets as it continues to shift its focus towards low-risk regions and sports betting opportunities in the US, according to group CEO Antonios Kerastaris.

Intralot posted a 2.4% fall in earnings before interest and deductions to €80.1m (£71.8m/$93.4m) for the first six months of 2018 due to “foreign exchange turmoil in key markets”. On a constant currency basis, revenue and EBITDA increased by 11.4% and 12.1% year-on-year.

Kerastaris, who reflected upon the Athens-based company’s 2017 results earlier this year by reiterating the “geographical redefinition of the gravity of our interest by… focusing on developed markets”, said today that Intralot had “made great progress towards its strategic goals” this year.

He highlighted “the ongoing geographic refocus and the shift of the revenue/EBITDA mix towards low-risk markets, evidenced by a stream of renewals and new clients in the US”.

He also cited the deployment of solutions that will “start paying off our significant investment in new products for digital transformation, reversing the significant cash impact of these key investments towards generating long term value”.

The figures illustrate the scale of Intralot’s investments in future ventures.

Net debt increased by €61.8m in the first six months of the year to €572.5m, with investments in software (€5.7m), the company’s US business (€15.9m) and the inventory build-up for new projects (€12.8m) accounting for a sizeable chunk of the total.

In terms of sales, sports betting accounted for 58.3% of the company’s turnover, followed by lottery games on 29.6%.

Kerastaris (pictured) added that a “significant focus is now placed on the tremendous opportunities that open up in the nascent US sports betting market after the federal ban repeal in May and a line-up of tender awards that will be announced soon in mature markets”.

Last month, Intralot sealed a five-year extension to its gaming systems contract with the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

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