BUSINESS

Lottomatica posts profit rise, confirms €30m Emma Delta stake

TAGs: emma delta, GTech, ireland national lottery, Lottomatica, OPAP, Spielo International

lottomatica-gtech-spieloItalian gaming operator Lottomatica saw revenues rise 2.2% to €798m in Q1 2013, but profits rose nearly 30% to €74.7m in part due to strong video lottery terminal (VLT) sales in Canada via the Spielo International subsidiary.

Lottomatica’s mainstay Italian operations saw revenue slip to €464m from €482m in Q1 2012 and the Italian-facing online business saw revenue fall 18% to €21.2m. The GTECH lottery business saw revenues slip to €229m from €237m, but Spielo International saw revenues jump 61% to €112m on a 138% rise in sales of gaming machines. Spielo’s share of Lottomatica’s overall revenue has risen to 14% from 9% last year. Spielo’s online arm, Spielo G2 (the former GTECH G2), was recently awarded the contract to power the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s new online gambling site PlayOLG.ca.

Lottomatica’s annual general meeting was a busy affair, with shareholders approving the company’s plan to rebrand under the name GTech SpA starting June 3, although the company said the Lottomatica and Spielo brands will be “retained as important and prominent offerings in the markets and segments in which they operate.”

Lottomatica also confirmed it had taken a minority ownership stake in Emma Delta, the consortium that purchased the Greek government’s 33% stake in Greek betting monopoly OPAP. Lottomatica had been one of the eight original bidders for the OPAP stake before backing out in December. Lottomatica CEO Marco Sala told analysts the company would invest up to €30m, a little less than 5% of the €652m Emma Delta paid the Greek government. Lottomatica issued a statement saying it “expects to provide expertise in the areas of technology, operations and the launch of new products” under the OPAP banner.

Finally, GTECH has confirmed it will participate in the auction for the Irish National Lottery management contract, possibly in a tandem bid with the An Post postal service, the lottery’s current operator. This week, the Irish government announced it was officially open for bids on the 20-year contract, which will be awarded later this year. To help stoke interest, Ireland has proposed passing laws to boost the lottery’s online presence, which currently accounts for just 3% of sales.

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