World Cup, VLTs boost OPAP takings and profits

World Cup, VLTs boost OPAP takings and profits

Greek gambling giant OPAP recorded an increase in its revenues and profits in the first half of the year, its second-quarter financial figures showed on Wednesday, thanks both to betting on the soccer World Cup and the introduction of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the Greek market.

The group has staged a spectacular improvement in its data and is preparing to distribute an interim dividend for 2018. OPAP management will propose to shareholders an interim dividend of 0.10 euros per share, or 31.78 million euros in total.

The company’s management makes no secret of its satisfaction: “OPAP revenues and earnings have recorded growth once again,” said group chief executive Damian Cope, admitting that “in the second quarter we benefited from the activity during the first few weeks of the soccer World Cup, with the growing use of self-service betting terminals (SSBTs).”

OPAP enjoyed a 7.1 percent rise in its gross gaming revenue to 737 million euros, from 688.5 million in the first half of 2017. Even without the adjustment OPAP has made to last year’s data reducing the amortization of the VLT permits, operating profits posted significant growth that came to 7 percent in January-June 2018.

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