Stoixman Acquisition Boosts Greek Gaming Operator OPAP

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Posted: March 24, 2022, 10:51 a.m.

Last update: March 24, 2022, 11:02 a.m.

OPAP, the Greek gambling operator, had a good year last year. Due in part to its new acquisition of Stoixman, the company saw a 36.2% year-over-year gain in gross gaming revenue.

OPAP Betting Room
An OPAP betting parlor in Greece. The gaming operator had a hugely successful 2021 and expects better results this year. (Image: G3 Newswire)

OPAP had a strong financial position in 2021, leading to increased profitability and significant shareholder benefits. The good news came during the presentation to analysts of the operator’s financial results for the whole year.

The improved performance was the result, in part, of OPAP’s deal with Stoixman. The company already owned part of the sports betting operator, but has spent the last two years buying the rest. Its stronger position in Greece and Europe will continue to increase revenues.

OPAP develops its gaming operations

OPAP’s FY2021 gross gaming revenue (GGR) was nearly €1.54 billion (US$1.7 billion), a growth of more than 36.2% compared to the previous year. In the fourth quarter, the GGR reached 498.5 million euros ($546.65 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 2021 reached €550.3 million ($604.67 million, a 111.1% year-over-year gain). Fourth quarter EBITDA reached €170.4 million ($187.2 million).

Overall, the fourth quarter of 2021 was historically among the best performing, in terms of GGR, and the company’s cash balances further strengthenedsaid OPAP CEO Jan Karas.

Net profit for 2021 was €259.4 million (US$285 million), up 26.4% year-on-year. Additionally, net profit for the fourth quarter was €86.1 million ($94.6 million).

Consequently, the Board of Directors of the OPAP proposed the distribution of a gross dividend of €0.50 (0.55 USD) per share at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. With the already distributed interim dividend of €0.10 ($0.11), the dividend for 2021 amounts to €0.60 ($0.66) per share.

In addition, the Board proposed to the AGM the distribution of €0.90 (US$0.99) per share as a return of capital. In total, shareholder compensation for the 2021 financial year amounts to €1.50 (US$1.65) per share.

Resilience and Recovery Results

Jan Karas, CEO of OPAP, highlighted the “resilient performance” of the company’s retail operations as a success factor over the past year. As he pointed out, despite the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recovery of the retail network has gained momentum.

A key role was played by the company’s overall business plan and initiatives focused on customer entertainment and digitization. Among other things, the OPAP Rewards loyalty program has been very well received, with around 600,000 registered customers at the end of 2021 and particularly high levels of active users.

Additionally, Karas stood on the new OPAP Store app. This enhances the digital experience in OPAP, allowing customers to play and collect their profits digitally, without visiting the company’s retail locations. The pilot phase is complete and full operation of the application will begin in the second quarter of 2022.

In addition, the digital upgrade of the network continues dynamically, as more than 1,100 agencies have already installed smart digital infrastructure and modern audiovisual equipment. In addition, the company further strengthened its product portfolio by including new options in Powerspin and Pame Stoixima, improving virtual games and optimizing video lottery terminals.

Online business growth

The online business continued to be a key driver of growth. OPAP’s online customer base grew further, thanks to improved online products, upgraded front-end environments and targeted CRM activities.

Karas focused on the recent presentation of the renewed live casino of the Pamestoixima.gr platform. This offers a sophisticated gaming experience and Greek croupiers on live interactive tables. He also highlighted the availability of Virtuals+, which offers customers the widest variety of virtual sports.

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