Arab Today, arab today greek gaming monopoly opap reports sharp profit drop
Last Updated : GMT 13:57:14
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Greek gaming monopoly OPAP reports sharp profit drop

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greek gaming monopoly OPAP reports sharp profit drop

Athens - AFP

Greece\'s gaming monopoly OPAP announced Thursday a 73.9-percent drop in net profits for the first half of 2013, shortly after a major stake in the company was sold to foreign investors. OPAP said net profits fell to 67.3 million euros ($89 million) from 258 million euros in the same period in 2012. Sales fell 15.1 percent to 1.744 billion euros -- from 2.055 billion euros previously -- mostly because of the severe economic downturn and one-off factors that hit first-quarter results, the bank said. In July, Greece\'s state privatisation agency said it had signed the papers to sell a 33-percent stake of OPAP to Greco-Czech consortium Emma Delta for 652 million euros, a deal first announced in May. OPAP, which was among the most lucrative companies up for privatisation, has a state concession for the exclusive right to operate 13 games of chance until October 2030, and a ten-year license for the operation of 50,000 video lottery terminals. In the January-June period, sports bets declined by 26.9 percent to 605.9 million euros while numbers games fell by 7.1 percent to 1.138 billion euros. In return for two EU-IMF bailout deals, Greece has pledged to raise 9.5 billion euros in asset sales by 2016, a target originally set at 50 billion euros. But the privatisation drive is far behind schedule and suffered a further blow in June, after Russia\'s Gazprom suddenly withdrew plans to buy Greece\'s state gas operator DEPA. As a result, Athens revised downwards its estimated asset sales for this year, now expecting to raise 1.6 billion euros instead of 2.6 billion euros.

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