BUSINESS

OPAP’s 2015 profits hit by capital controls and competition

TAGS: Business

Greece’s biggest betting firm OPAP posted a 32 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, hit by capital controls imposed last summer and rising competition.

Consumer sentiment in Greece, hurt by six years of austerity, has worsened after the country imposed capital restrictions in late June, curbing appetite for betting.

OPAP, which is majority-owned by a Czech-Greek fund, said net profit was 51.7 million euros, down from 76 million euros in the same period a year ago.

The figure, which was below an average forecast of 56.3 million euros in a recent poll of analysts, was hit by a 15-million-euro impairment from a lottery and scratch card license.

Uncertainty over a new levy on the company’s games and its video lottery business have weighed on OPAP’s stock, which has lost 11.7 percent so far this year.

On top of a higher corporate tax, Greece imposed a 0.05-euro levy on OPAP’s games to raise 210 million euros in revenues this year, one of several measures agreed with its EU/IMF lenders to boost state coffers under a third international bailout which the country agreed last summer.

[Reuters]

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