ECONOMY

Intralot’s fortunes grow

Gaming system operator Intralot’s first-half group net profit rose 8.4 percent to 41 million euros ($49.36 million), due to strong sales growth, it said yesterday. Group pretax profit increased 38.1 percent to 84.9 million euros. Intralot, the world’s third-largest lottery supplier by revenues, reported under IFRS accounting standards. The results are not directly comparable to the same period last year as they included for the first time first-half results of subsidiaries in Malta, Turkey and Poland. The company reported results last year under Greek accounting standards. «In the first half of 2005, Intralot’s revenues and profits managed to grow despite the apparent slowdown in Stoichima in Greece and a difficult comparison with the second quarter in 2004,» Chief Executive Constantinos Antonopoulos said in a statement. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 31.5 percent to 84 million euros. Group sales grew 54.5 percent to 232.1 million euros, with revenue from its foreign subsidiaries making up 77.6 percent of the total. The company is targeting a full-year pretax profit of 120 million euros, up 27.2 percent, and sales of more than 500 million euros, a 53.4 percent increase. Foreign subsidiaries are expected to account for 75 percent of group sales this year versus 62.7 percent in 2004. Revenues from Stoichima – Greek for «Let’s Bet» – which Intralot runs on behalf of Greek betting company OPAP until early 2007, fell 31.8 percent in the first half to 602.7 million euros largely due to competition from the Kino numerical game, as well as illegal betting. Intralot operates in 32 countries around the world, including the US. (Reuters)