OPAP SA has recorded a stable Q3 2020 trading period. However, lottery network declines continue to hamper the Athens-listed gambling group’s COVID recovery.

The Greek lottery and sports betting operator stated in its financial report that it continues to side with caution, steering all operating units ‘towards business normality’.

Publishing its Q3 2020 trading update (period ending September 30), OPAP recorded a slight 0.7% decrease in group revenues to €391m, which was driven by strong improvements in its betting and video lottery terminals (VLT) returns.

Improved Q3 trading activity saw betting GGR come in at €105m, up by 14% when compared to 2019’s €92m. VLT revenues increased as well by 10% to €80m compared to last year’s €73m.

However, OPAP saw a decline in lottery GGR by 9% to €179m compared to 2019’s €197m, as the firm’s lottery network suffered from fragmented retail reopenings and social distancing measures affecting footfall.

The lottery network declines saw OPAP’s year-to-date group revenues track at €899m, a 23% decrease on corresponding YTD 2019’s €1.17bn.

OPAP highlighted several ‘well-timed containment measures’ that helped them navigate the pandemic, lowering the group’s YTD operating costs by 5% to €182m. As a result, the company reported a 20% decline in YTD marketing expenses, which fell to €35m.

YTD EBITDA stands at €207m, down 31% compared to 2019’s €305m. Yet, OPAP noted that its Q3 EBITDA figures matched those recorded in 2019, amounting to €105m. The betting group attributed this to their decision to secure cost efficiencies and ‘increased Kaizen Gaming contribution’.

Jan Karas, OPAP’s Acting CEO, said: “Our Q3 results demonstrate our ability to ensure operational readiness during unfortunate times and deliver healthy results upon the lift of lockdown measures. At the same time, our effort to tap the markets was a remarkable success demonstrating investors’ confidence and enhancing our liquidity.

“Going forward, in the volatile environment of the pandemic and the second lockdown, our focus remains on protecting and actively supporting our employees, partners and stakeholders, safeguarding our healthy financial position and enhancing our product proposition. We remain confident in our ability to face future challenges and deliver positive results.”