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Opap Posts 71% Drop in First-Quarter Profit on Greek Games Tax

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May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Opap SA, Greece’s biggest gambling company, said profit in the first quarter dropped 71 percent as a new gaming tax weighed on earnings.

Net income fell to 38.9 million euros ($50.2 million) compared with 131.9 million euros in the same period a year earlier, according to an Athens bourse filing today. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization dropped 69 percent to 57.6 million euros from 184.4 million euros a year ago.

Sales marked an 18 percent decline to 869.3 million euros as a sixth year of recession in the country hurt earnings. Sales were also affected by fewer effective trading days, Athens-based Opap said. While the economic outlook in Greece remains “adverse”, Opap said it would stick to its target of profit of 116 million euros this year.

Greece’s government imposed a 30 percent tax on gross gaming revenue from this year and a tax on winnings from the company’s games as the country strives to boost tax revenue and meet terms set under a 240 billion-euro financial rescue from the euro area and International Monetary Fund.

Revenue for fixed-odds sports betting game Pame Stihima declined 27 percent to 289.8 million euros while revenue for the Kino game dropped 11 percent to 480.8 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eleni Chrepa in Athens at echrepa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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