OPAP lauds ‘robust’ showing with online casino a ‘key growth driver’

Online has remained a “key growth driver” for Greek gambling group OPAP, which has heaped praise on its showing through 2021’s final quarter and full-year despite the ongoing challenges presented.

Gross gaming revenue surged 115.9 per cent through Q4 to €498.5m (2020: €230.9m), which nudged its full-year performance forward 36.2 per cent, due to a strong online showing as well as more retail operating days, to close at €1.53bn (2020: €1.12bn).

Gross profit through Q4, which OPAP says was “burdened by Hellenic Lotteries’ disproportional GGR contribution, so as to meet the annual contractual threshold of €50m,” increased 151.4 per cent and 47.5 per cent for Q4 and FY, respectively, to €195.3m (2020: €77.7m) and €605.8m (2020: €410.9m).

EBITDA, buoyed by the full consolidation of Stoiximan, stood at €170.4m through Q4 (2020: €53.1m), which helped deliver a 111.1 per cent FY uptick to €550.3m (2020: €260.7m).

“OPAP reaffirmed the strength of its business model, posting robust results and a solid financial position in 2021, despite persisting pandemic challenges,” commented Jan Karas, OPAP CEO.

“Overall, Q4’21 was historically one of the best performing quarters, in terms of GGR, and cash reserves were further expanded. 

“Our retail business demonstrated high resilience, with recovery ramping up, even though our stores had to suspend operations for several months and adjust to strict healthcare restrictions after reopening.”

Breaking down the performance by division, online casino, reflecting a strong contribution from Stoiximan, scored significant increases across both time frames to close Q4 and FY at €46.9m (2020: €19.26m) and €184.82m (2020: €23.94m), respectively.

Lottery, boosted by OPAP’s retail estate being operational for the full quarter unlike one year earlier, albeit under restrictive measures, soared to €183.84m (2020: €82m) through Q4. For the full-year, a 5.9 per cent rise to €549.17m (2020: €518.6m) was reported.

VLTs recorded a slight 2.9 per cent FY dip to €194.64m (2020: €200.52m) despite its quarterly performance being up 131.3 per cent to €74m (2020: €32m), which was also boosted by extra operational days.

Betting increased 102.6 per cent and 68 per cent across Q4 and FY to close at €166m (2020: €81.97m) and €521.37m (2020: €310.36m), respectively, with passive lotteries and instant scratch games up 76.8 per cent and 16.4 per cent over the same time frames to €27.63m (2020: €15.62m) and €88.83m (2020: €76.34m).  

“Our comprehensive commercial plan and well-accepted loyalty programs played a key role to this end,” continued Karas. 

“Online remained a key growth driver for OPAP, even after retail reopening. Our online customer base grew further, supported by upgraded front-ends and targeted CRM activities. 

“Additionally, our dual strategy continued paying off, with Stoiximan’s full consolidation clearly aiding our performance. Last but not least, our commitment to social contribution remains as strong as ever. 

“Soon we will complete the renovation of Greece’s two largest children’s hospitals – our long-term project which tangibly showcases our focus on delivering value to all our stakeholders. 

“Looking forward, we remain committed to delivering best-in-class entertainment by emphasising on our customer-centric approach and digitalization, to pursue the ambitions of our ‘Fast Forward OPAP Strategy’”.