BUSINESS

Q3 EARNINGS: OPAP falls, Cherry and Bingo.com rise

TAGs: Bingo.com, cherry ab, greece, OPAP

opap-cherry-bingo-comWith eight potential investors lined up to bid on the Greek government’s one-third stake in OPAP, the country’s gambling monopoly operator is picking the wrong time to go south. Revenues were off 11% in Q3 to €891.3m as the country’s ongoing economic turmoil convinced many cash-strapped punters they couldn’t afford a little gambling entertainment. Earnings dipped 14.4% to €155m while profits fell 16% to €113.6m, which beat many analysts’ expectations, but profits will take an even greater tumble in the new year after a 30% earnings tax takes effect. OPAP’s sports betting revenue fell 25.3% while revenue from betting game Stihima was off 21.2%, numerical games revenue fell 2% and Kino slipped 0.8%. For the year to date, overall revenues have fallen 7.8% to €2.95b, earnings are down 9% to €499.6m and profit down 9.2% to €371.7m.

Swedish operator Cherry AB saw Q3 revenues rise 9% to SEK128.6m (US $19m). Earnings rose 10% to SEK12.4m ($1.83m), resulting in a 12% rise in net profits to SEK7.5m ($1.09m). Broken down by division, Cherry’s online gaming revenue was up 24% while earnings rose 46% to SEK9.8m. Online is where Cherry wants to focus its future efforts, and last month regulators in Malta issued a gaming license to Cherry’s Maltese subsidiary, paving the way for this month’s launch of Euroslots.com. Cherry had been busy developing its own proprietary platform to aid the Euroslots launch, a task CEO Emil Sunvisson admitted had “taken longer than expected.” Regardless, Sunvisson expects great things from Euroslots next year, and also expects margins to improve in coming quarters following the sale last month of Cherry’s “challenging” maritime division to Bell Casino. Cherry’s restaurant casino division posted a 4% revenue boost and a 7% rise in earnings to SEK3.3m. For the year to date, Cherry’s overall revenues are up 12%, earnings are up 82% and profits have risen from SEK12.3m in 2011 to 22.1m this year.

Finally, Anguilla-based Bingo.com Ltd. reported a 32% revenue boost in Q3 to $457.7k and net income of $29k, which stands in stark contrast to the $29k loss it reported in Q3 2011. CEO Jason Williams credited the turnaround to increased marketing, leading to “a large inflow of new players.”

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