(MENAFN - AFP) Greece's gaming monopoly OPAP announced Thursday a 73.9-percent drop in net profits for the first half of 2013, shortly after a major stake in the company was sold to foreign investors.
OPAP said net profits fell to 67.3 million euros (89 million) from 258 million euros in the same period in 2012.
Sales fell 15.1 percent to 1.744 billion euros -- from 2.055 billion euros previously -- mostly because of the severe economic downturn and one-off factors that hit first-quarter results, the bank said.
In July, Greece's state privatisation agency said it had signed the papers to sell a 33-percent stake of OPAP to Greco-Czech consortium Emma Delta for 652 million euros, a deal first announced in May.
OPAP, which was among the most lucrative companies up for privatisation, has a state concession for the exclusive right to operate 13 games of chance until October 2030, and a ten-year license for the operation of 50,000 video lottery terminals.
In the January-June period, sports bets declined by 26.9 percent to 605.9 million euros while numbers games fell by 7.1 percent to 1.138 billion euros.
In return for two EU-IMF bailout deals, Greece has pledged to raise 9.5 billion euros in asset sales by 2016, a target originally set at 50 billion euros.
But the privatisation drive is far behind schedule and suffered a further blow in June, after Russia's Gazprom suddenly withdrew plans to buy Greece's state gas operator DEPA.
As a result, Athens revised downwards its estimated asset sales for this year, now expecting to raise 1.6 billion euros instead of 2.6 billion euros.