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Retail continues to drive OPAP recovery

| By Richard Mulligan
Greek gaming operator OPAP said solid retail operations along with strong online contribution were key to its positive financial performance in the first half of 2022.
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The group’s retail estate was fully operational throughout the six months to 30 June, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) increasing by 57.7% year-on-year to €899.3m following the Covid-impacted early part of 2021.

A major contributor towards the total was the lottery segment, with retail reopening and loyalty programmes helping generate €335.1m in H1. This was up 79.2% compared to the same period in 2021.

Retail’s recovery also inspired a 33.9% rise in sports betting to €286.6m, despite the UEFA Euro 2020 competition taking place in the comparable period last year.

Video lottery terminal (VLT) revenues in H1 2022 almost quadruples, reaching €143.9m versus €36.1m in H1 2021 on the back of stores’ closure for almost five out of six months in the first half of 2021. OPAP said this figure was also aided by product mix improvement and the replacement of more than 1,500 terminals.

OPAP said that at present customer spending on gaming has been resilient versus the Greek retail market and other leisure activities.

Jan Karas, OPAP’s chief executive, said: “Q2 2022 was beyond any doubt coloured by the lifting of the remaining Covid-related restrictions in retail, while at the same time we faced softer consumer spending arising from the increasing macro turbulence.

“OPAP delivered a solid set of Q2 results thanks to our retail operating at full force and the leveraging of growth opportunities across our portfolio. New Tzoker.gr frontends, new OPAP Store app, Powerspin extended with combo feature, renewed Laiko lottery together with variety of

engaging customer promos amplify our players’ entertainment experience in both online and retail

channels. Additionally, the successful leveraging of customer data collected through our loyalty programme contributes to increased player activity.

“OPAP remains well positioned to deliver resilient revenues and profitability, and its long-term

strategic priorities in a sustainable and responsible way for all stakeholders.”

The return of retail led to greater costs on a year-over-year basis, with gaming revenue related expense in H1 2022 standing at €246.4m, up 65.8% on last year.

Payroll expense in Η1 2022 stood at €40.1m compared to €36.5m in Η1 2021, higher by 9.8%, reflecting the completion of the carve out and the employees transfer to Stoiximan Ltd from Kaizen Gaming.

Other operating expenses in H1 2022 stood at €85.8m versus €70.5m in H1 2021, higher by 21.7% due to increased IT-related expenses as well as increased operating needs post retail reopening.

EBITDA in H1 2022 stood at €335.7m versus €204.8m in H1 2021, higher by 63.9% or 80.5% like-for-like. Net profit in H1 2022 stood at €167.2m versus €78.9m in H1 2021, up by 111.9% or 188.2% on

a like-for-like basis.

Earlier this year, Allwyn Entertainment – set to be the next UK National Lottery operator – increased its economic interest in OPAP to 48.1%.

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