OPAP Greek Betting Monopoly

OPAP Q1 Profit Climbs 3.5%

OPAP S.A., the Greek betting monopoly, saw an uptick in both revenue and net profit during the first quarter of 2009.

First quarter revenue grew 6 percent to 1.46 billion euros when compared to last year’s corresponding period, which OPAP attributed to its numerical games.

Net profit also went up year over year by 3.5 percent to 215.7 million euros, while the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was down .09 percent at 299.5 million euros from high distribution costs.

The group’s sports betting revenue fell 8.4 percent because of lower Stihima revenue, OPAP said.

“The weakness in our Q1 sports betting results relative to the same period in 2008 is explicable by a very dissimilar seasonal pattern of sports events; we expect a partial correction in April and May,” said Christos D. Hadjiemmanuil, OPAP’s chairman and chief executive, in the financial results.

“Moreover, the rejuvenation of our numerical games has contributed to their improved performance in the early months of the year, making us optimistic that we will achieve our profitability target for 2009,” he added.