OPAP reports 13 percent dip in earnings

OPAP, Europe?s biggest betting company, said on Monday first-quarter net profit fell 13 percent, hit by deteriorating economic conditions and fewer sports events.

Net profit came in at 167 million euros compared with a forecast for 161.7 million in a Reuters poll.

Sales fell 18 percent to 1.12 billion euros, compared with a forecast for 1.17 billion. Turnover from the two flagship games, Kino and Stoichima, were down 14 percent and 23 percent respectively.

The EBITDA profit margin was flat at 19.1 percent, helped by operating cost cuts and lower payouts to Stoichima winners.

?Management seems to remain committed to improving its operating cost mix,? EFG Eurobank Securities said in a note on Monday.

?As a result, sponsorships, grants and advertising expenses came in at 29 million euros, some 6 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2010,? it added.

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