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GREEK GAMBLING MONOPOLY PROFITS WAY DOWN
23rd May, 2013 at 11:44:29
OPAP posts lowest profit in 10 years
The partly state-owned Greek gambling monopoly OPAP has hardly enhanced its attraction as a privatisation acquisition with the release of its Q1-2013 numbers Thursday, posting a net profit of Euro 38.9 million - the lowest since Q4-2013, according to the Reuters news agency.
Sales during the quarter plunged 18 percent, below analyst forecasts, although the company's management is sticking with its net profit forecast for 2013 of Euro 116 million.
The company claims it has been held back by higher taxes and a deepening recession in the austerity-stricken Greek market.
Greece's cash-strapped government hit OPAP with a 30% levy on gross revenues before agreeing to privatise the company earlier this month. A five-day strike by OPAP's sales agents in January also hit revenues.
Net income for the first three months of the year dropped 71% year-on-year to Euro 38.9 million. Sales fell 18% to Euro 869 million, missing analysts' Euro 900-million forecast.
Management reported: "The economic environment remains unfavourable," but stood by its forecast for net profit of Euro 116 million for the full 2013 year.
Greece earlier this month agreed to sell a controlling 33% stake in OPAP to Greek-Czech investment fund Emma Delta for Euro 652 million (see previous reports).
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