OPAP tax exposure drags FY2023 results

Greek lottery operator OPAP has reported upticks in revenue during Q3 as players returned and online operations gained momentum.
Image: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

OPAP SA states that it has established a new benchmark for its business, generating more than €2bn in corporate revenues.

The Athens-listed gambling group published its full-year 2023 accounts, in which revenue results amounted to €2.08bn, up 7% on FY2022 comparatives of €1.93bn.

The record-breaking figure was achieved off the back of stellar Q4 trading, as OPAP’s “Q4 2023 GGR landed at the highest-ever level of €581.2m, up by 7.5% y-o-y (Q4 2022: €540.9m) on the back of increased playability in retail and a robust online contribution”.

On a year-to-year basis, the Greek firm’s flagship lottery unit generated 2% growth in GGR to €730m (FY2022: €710m) – stable growth attributed to new ‘Tzoker’ draw games purchased through its retail network.

Lottery growth was supported by OPAP’s betting unit registering a 6% increase in GGR to €645m (FY2022:€603m) and VLT income of €344m (+8%).

Yet, recording its highest digital engagement, OPAP’s online casino unit reported record GGR results of €252m, up 25% on FY2022 results of €199m.

In 2023, trading witnessed a significant rise in its operating costs across several categories, as gaming revenue expenses totalled €583m.

OPAP accounts detailed notable increases including payroll costs, which grew by 8.6% to €91m, marketing expenses up by 10.4% to €123m, and other operating expenses which surged by 17.5% to €198m.

Despite increased costs, OPAP’s pre-tax profit stood at €570m, reflecting a decrease of 21.2% compared to 2022 results.

The tax obligations for the company amounted to €156m, leading to a net profit of €408.3m for the year 2023, marking a significant 31.1% decline from 2022’s earnings.

Meanwhile, EBITDA slightly declined by 0.8% to €730.0m. The gross profit from gaming operations showed a positive trend, increasing by 6.7% year-on-year to €852.3m, attributed to growth in the top line.

The slight decline in EBITDA and the notable drop in net profit underline the effects of higher costs and exceptional items on the company’s financial performance.

Group CEO Jan Karas, commented: “OPAP concluded 2023 with the strongest Q4 ever and achieved record revenues. This development clearly reflects the consistent and effective implementation of our business strategy throughout the year, as well as our ability to pursue and achieve ambitious goals.

“As regards our business initiatives, we are excited by the recent launch of Eurojackpot in Greece, which is a milestone for OPAP and follows the successful repositioning of Lotto and Tzoker.

“Looking ahead, in line with our Fast Forward business strategy, we remain committed to further upgrading our proposition, securing sound growth and profitability, rewarding our shareholders, and delivering on our sustainability and social responsibility objectives.”