Revenues at Sazka Group, the Czech Republic-based lottery company, fell by 28 per cent to €652m in the first six months of this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic was the cause of the fall, says the company, but it says that from the end of June, businesses that had been impacted had recovered well.
EBITDA for the half year fell 42 per cent to €167m compared with €287m in the same period of 2019. Profit after tax decreased by 90 per cent to €42m.
In its half-year report Sazka said that land-based sales of most products were up to, or over, sales during the sale period of 2019. Online sales, it said, increased significantly in the Czech Republic, Austria and Greece during the period when the pandemic was at its height and since then had continued to perform strongly.
During the year, the group acquired a 17.10 per cent stake in Casinos Austria, previously owned by Novomatic.
Robert Chvatal, SAZKA Group CEO, said: “After closing the acquisition of Novomatic’s stake in CASAG, we look forward to working together with the Austrian state, CASAG and Austrian Lotteries to take the lotteries business to further successes, and to build a sustainable and profitable Austrian casinos business, leveraging the strength of the brand and the team.
He added: “In August we closed an important acquisition in Greece by taking a majority stake in Stoiximan’s Greek and Cypriot business. Not only does this further strengthen our position as the undisputed leader in the Greek and Cypriot markets, but it also represents a step-change in OPAP’s online presence.”