* OPAP says almost all revenue wiped out by shutdown
* Reviewing dividend
* OPAP has taken steps to mitigate closure impact
* Reports 62% rise in Q4 profit
* CEO to stand down at end of May (Add impact from shutdown, CEO stepping down)
ATHENS, April 1 (Reuters) - OPAP, Europe’s fourth-biggest betting business, said it had seen almost all its revenue wiped out by the closure of its outlets due to a coronavirus lockdown in Greece and Cyprus.
About 99% of OPAP’s gambling revenue had been lost since it was forced to close around 4,000 outlets last month, it said on Wednesday as it estimated monthly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will be 50-53 million euros lower if the shutdowns are extended beyond April.
Greece reported its first coronavirus case at the end of February and has so far confirmed 1,415 cases and 50 deaths.
“We have responded quickly to protect our employees and agents, taking a number of necessary mitigation steps,” OPAP’s Chief Executive Damian Cope said in a statement.
OPAP said it had sufficient liquidity to repay all creditors and meet future payment obligations after securing additional funding of 325 million euros.
In a separate statement it said that Cope will step down at the end of May when his four-year contract ends and that it has begun looking for a successor. If none is found by that date, Chief Commercial Officer Jan Karas will take over as acting CEO.
“I am confident that OPAP will bounce back strongly once this unfortunate period comes to an end,” Cope said.
OPAP reported a 62% rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 61.8 million euros ($68 million) as a result of its new video lottery operation and lower taxation.
The Greek company said it had concluded the roll out of 25,000 video lottery terminals in Greece in December. It holds an exclusive licence for the business which expires in 2035 and is seen as a catalyst for future growth.
OPAP said it was reviewing shareholders payments on 2019 profit because of the trading situation. It paid an extraordinary dividend of 1 euro a share in February. ($1 = 0.9147 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by David Goodman, Elaine Hardcastle and Alexander Smith)
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