ATHENS, June 12 Greek-based OPAP,
Europe's fourth-biggest betting firm, reported an 8.7 percent
drop in first-quarter net profit on Monday, hurt by costs for
the roll out of a new video lottery business.
OPAP said net profit came in at 39 million euros ($43.67
million) in the first three months of the year, down from 42.8
million euros in the same period a year ago.
OPAP, which was fully privatised in 2013, offers sports
betting and lotteries through a network of about 5,750 outlets
in Greece and Cyprus via a revenue-sharing scheme with agents.
It has been investing in new products and the upgrade of its
outlets and launched a new business of video lottery terminals
(VLTs) last year, which it sees as a catalyst for future growth.
Expenses for rolling out the terminals - which will be
concluded next year - and other games weighed on its bottom
line, OPAP said.
Gross gaming revenues rose 5.3 percent to 358.9 million
euros, with robust performance in its lottery operations more
than offsetting weakness in sports betting.
($1 = 0.8930 euros)
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by David Evans)