OPAP posts 71% drop in Q1 profit on Greek games tax

OPAP, Greece’s biggest gambling company, said profit in the first quarter dropped 71 percent as a new gaming tax weighed on earnings.

Net income fell to 38.9 million euros ($50.2 million) compared with 131.9 million euros in the same period a year earlier, according to an Athens bourse filing today. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization dropped 69 percent to 57.6 million euros from 184.4 million euros a year ago.

Sales marked an 18 percent decline to 869.3 million euros as a sixth year of recession in the country hurt earnings. Sales were also affected by fewer effective trading days, Athens-based Opap said. While the economic outlook in Greece remains “adverse”, Opap said it would stick to its target of profit of 116 million euros this year.

Greece’s government imposed a 30 percent tax on gross gaming revenue from this year and a tax on winnings from the company’s games as the country strives to boost tax revenue and meet terms set under a 240 billion-euro financial rescue from the euro area and International Monetary Fund.

Revenue for fixed-odds sports betting game Pame Stihima declined 27 percent to 289.8 million euros while revenue for the Kino game dropped 11 percent to 480.8 million euros.