Greece’s gambling monopoly OPAP, sold recently to a Czech-Greek fund, reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Wednesday, as sales from its betting products improved for the first time in three years.
A new management took over OPAP last month after the government sold its 33 percent stake to Emma Delta for 652 million euros, belatedly marking the first major privatization under the country’s international bailout.
Third-quarter net profit dropped 61 percent to 44.4 million euros, beating analysts’ average forecast of 37.2 million euros in a recent Reuters poll.
Behind the fall was a new 30 percent tax Greece slapped on OPAP’s gross gaming revenues at the start of the year and a drop in betting as a result of the country’s six-year recession.
Sales improved for the first quarter in three years, rising 0.7 percent to 897.6 million euros, also well above the higher end of analysts’ expectations.
“The Q3 revenues stabilization indicates a promising restart for the company that comes along with the recent undertaking of our duties,” said OPAP’s recently appointed chief executive, Kamil Ziegler.