Greek gambling monopoly OPAP's profits take a 61% hit

The Greek gambling monopoly OPAP is anticipating a profit cut of 61% in Q2/2010 as a result of a windfall tax imposed by the government on businesses to shore up its ailing finances. Industry analysts say expected group net profit of €60.5 million is a significant decline from the €155.5 million in the same period a year ago.

The Greek government signed up to a €110 billion bailout with the IMF and its European Union partners, and then had to impose a debt crisis levy on 2009 corporate profit. In OPAP's case this sliced a massive €94 million off the gambling group's Q2 earnings.

OPAP enjoyed a relatively successful second quarter, with increased wagers on sports betting game Stihima up 22% during the football World Cup, offsetting lower revenues from the domestic Greek market which has been badly affected by the economic crisis. Sales overall were up 5.8% to €1.37 billion. A series of jackpot rollovers in lottery game Joker also boosted revenues.

The 34% state owned OPAP said it expects flat full-year sales due to austerity measures and a deepening recession in Greece. Last year, it had sales of €5.4 billion.

The share price for the company has declined 24.4% since the start of the year, in line with a 24% drop on the Athens bourse's benchmark index, according to a Reuters news agency report.

Source: InfoPowa News