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Edited Transcript of OPAP.AT earnings conference call or presentation 28-Nov-19 2:00pm GMT

Q3 2019 Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics SA Earnings Call

Athens Dec 4, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics SA earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Damian Cope

Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director

* Pavel Mucha

Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* Adnan Bilgin

* Fani Tzioukalia

Wood & Company Financial Services, a.s., Research Division - Equity Analyst

* Iakovos Kourtesis

Piraeus Securities S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Stamatios Draziotis

Eurobank Equities Investment Firm S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Victoria Elaine Pease

Edison Investment Research Limited - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. I am Gaily, your Chorus Call operator. Welcome, and thank you for joining the OPAP conference call to present and discuss the OPAP S.A. Q3 2019 interim management statements conference call. (Operator Instructions) And the conference is being recorded. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Damian Cope, CEO of OPAP S.A. Mr. Cope, please proceed.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [2]

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Thank you very much, Gaily, and good evening, good afternoon or good morning to everyone, and happy Thanksgiving to anybody listening from the states. I'm delighted to welcome you to OPAP's Q3 2019 Investor Conference Call. As always, we'll provide you with a review of our results and performance, and we'll also elaborate on our progress so far in 2019. We'll then answer any questions you may have.

With that, I'm handing over to our new CFO, Pavel Mucha. Pavel, over to you.

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [3]

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Thank you, Damian, and good afternoon to everybody. I would like to start by indicating that although I am on Board for only 2 months, I can say with confidence that OPAP's business has been built on solid pillars and that I'm here to continue to drive the company on the successful path, which was laid down over the last -- past couple of years.

Let me start my opening statement with a short reference on macro developments, which are mostly positive. Tourism has outperformed expectations with the relevant proceeds reaching new highs aided by higher spending as well as higher number of overall arrivals. In addition, unemployment levels continue to improve, private consumption rebounded from negative ground, while leading indicators are also trending higher. As a result, GDP estimates for the year hovering around 2% seem to be substantiated, while consensus calls for a reasonable growth in 2020 as well. On the other hand, retail sales still remain subdued with the latest month, demonstrating mixed performance signs. In this kind of environment, now I would like to comment on the Q3 results.

Our top line demonstrates a continuation of our performance over the past couple of quarters, while our profitability confirms that 2019 as a whole year will be a year of substantial growth in all metrics. To start with, Q3 GGR increased by 6.7%, further improving our quarterly run rate, but more importantly, reaching new 10-year high levels for Q3 despite the material drop across economic activity over the same time frame. On top, in line with the latest quarters, Q3 gross profit from gaming operations rose by a roughly equal 6.3%, due to incremental profitability from new products, which complement our legacy portfolio. EBITDA wise, our Q3 growth came in at 16.5%, giving an EBITDA of EUR 102 million and the respective EBITDA margin of 25.8%, which is higher by 2.2 percentage points year-over-year. The fact that these margin levels have been achieved despite the relatively high GGR taxation when comparing to European benchmarks, it is a result of both revenue growth, but also clear cost efficiency in share base, that became evident for yet another quarter.

Our operating expenses reduced by 5.2%, largely driven by IT cost reduction by 37% for the quarter. As a reminder, it was within Q3 2018 that our new IT contract became effective under the renegotiated terms scope and 1 year later, we felt vindicated by our decision on the back of both lower costs as well as higher reliance on our own people. Going forward, as mentioned in the past, it would be fair to assume that IT costs in the fourth quarter should be expected at numbers that would stay close to Q3 figures.

Marketing costs came in higher by 29% on a quarterly level, but still the 9-month figure is perfectly in line with our expectations expressed during the half year goal, mentioning a full year figure that is expected to hover around 2018 levels.

We remain with this view further noting that this would consist quite an achievement when taking into account the material revenue growth and the launch of several new projects and initiatives.

Going to payroll expenses, they increased by 6% in the quarter, reflecting the increased business needs in terms of human capacity. Still, our run rate was lower versus the first half of the year, while we have not yet seen the full benefit of our recent small-scale VRS.

Further down the profitability line, the net profit reached EUR 49 million, demonstrating improved run rates versus EBITDA, mostly due to Stoiximan contribution, which for the 9-month period, brought in EUR 4.7 million. 9-month cash flow from operating activities is 29% up on last year, driven by increased operating profitability. Of this, we invested EUR 40 million year-to-date, out of which EUR 20 million related to the acquisition of INTRALOT stake in Hellenic Lotteries. And the remaining investments were related to IT and network upgrades.

We expect that the acquisition of INTRALOT stake, which was accompanied by a renegotiation of IT and logistics contract terms will have a sizable positive impact on our recurring profitability.

Going forward, our overall investments for the year are expected to reach approximately EUR 50 million, of which CapEx will be about EUR 28 million and investments EUR 22 million. And obviously, we do not include the second part of Stoiximan transaction into these numbers.

Dividend wise, OPAP has probably been the company with the highest yield in the Greek stock market since its IPO, and our commitment for future dividend returns remains firm. Since a new law is expected to lower dividend taxation to 5% from the current rate of 10%, we declare our intention to announce the amount of an extraordinary dividend in Q1 next year, and this extraordinary dividend will be no less than the company's net profit for the full year. The extraordinary dividend payment will be financed from existing cash balances as well as additional external debt. We will, on top, distribute ordinary dividend post our full year results announcement in a move that we believe maximizes the value directed back to our shareholders.

In the long run, we expect to continue to pay dividends in the same manner as we did in the past, meaning interim and remaining dividend throughout the year. Q3 also marked the conclusion of the tender offer that Sazka Group, which is Emma Delta Hellenic Holdings and implicitly OPAP's leading shareholder, addressed to all shareholders. In total, breakup reached 7.25%, which means that Sazka Group now controls in total 40% of OPAP. On the product front, Q3 has been one of those cases where all our segments demonstrated encouraging performance. Starting with lottery, our growth rate accelerated further to 4.1% versus 2.7% in Q2 and versus 1.6% in Q1. JOKER was the main driver behind the growth, with JOKER Online also having a positive contribution. KINO run rates, although they slowed down a bit, but they still remain positive for the quarter. Going forward, Q4 2019, we'll have to face tough year-on-year comparison because KINO side bets became effective in Q4 2018.

On sports betting, the picture remains roughly unchanged versus Q2. Reported revenue dropped by 5.7%. However, this drop was a result of a drop in virtuals and the absence of World Cup related revenues in July last year. On a like-for-like basis, i.e., when we adjust for the World Cup contribution in July 2018, Stihima increased by 5% on a year-on-year basis. Gross Stihima's KPIs such as live betting weight and SSBT's contribution continued to perform well, gaining ground in the mix, in line with international [EBITDA], Q3 revenues once more reached a new quarterly high of EUR 73 million, also improving year-on-year, the GGR per machine on those machines that have been operational for the full course of the quarter, and the improvement is from EUR 38 in Q3 2018 to EUR 40 now.

Finally, as for Hellenic Lotteries, following the quarter-on-quarter improvement of the drop rate from minus 11% in Q1 to minus 4% in Q2, Q3 2019 turned positive, mostly driven by scratch.

Going forward, we would expect that the annual performance would be a tad lower compared to 2018, but we are continuing to take initiatives so as to increase Hellenic Lotteries' contribution to our net profit and having acquired internal stake in the company will help us towards this direction.

With that, I'm now handing over back to Damian.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [4]

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Thank you, Pavel. So overall, I would say Q3 was very much more of the same in terms of the positive trend we've seen so far throughout 2019, with good GGR growth, tight cost management and higher registered customer activity. There was also another step forward in the delivery of our 2020 Vision, once more demonstrating that our long-term transformational plan has led to a meaningful and sustained improvement in our financial performance.

So starting, as usual, with our core retail network on Slide 16 of the presentation deck, which is available on our website. Our comprehensive program of shop modernization continues, and it is evident that our focus on the enhancement of our estate through shop upgrades, the creation of new larger stores and their ongoing digitalization of the in-shop experience is indeed paying off.

Our estate of just over 3,800 OPAP shops at the end of September, is around 70 shops less than we had in operation 12 months ago, and we expect this trend to continue. As a reminder, our focus remains on establishing a stronger overall estate with a healthy balance of the newer, bigger shops that we will continue to open, combined with some smaller outlets, which will provide a dedicated experience to local communities. This modernization program will, therefore, likely continue at a similar pace until at least the end of 2020.

On VLTs, on Slide 17, it's clear that we're now coming to the end of our mammoth rollout program of 25,000 machines. Every machine needs to be certified, has now been submitted to the Hellenic Gaming Commission. And of the 2,100 still to be made operational, 1,500 have already been certified with just 600 remaining to be certified. We're, therefore, confident we will conclude the rollout as planned by the end of 2019.

On Slide 18, you'll see the very steady trend of customer activity, even increasing during the summer in Q3, when we were adjusting to the temporary suspension of the rollout. The extended customer reach is heavily influenced by our CRM actions, which help maintain engagement, both for new and existing players alike, with spend per visit numbers, nevertheless, remaining stable at EUR 30 versus EUR 29 in Q2. Absolute GGR, as you can see on Slide 19, therefore, increased slightly to EUR 73 million. The yield per machine of EUR 40, in line with year-to-date performance.

As Pavel mentioned, we're now entering the seasonally important Christmas period, where we're expecting the usual boost in total activity. At this point, it's worth also mentioning the new law recently passed by the Greek parliament, implementing a smoking ban in Greece across all public places. While there are other attempts have been made by authorities on previous occasions in the past, it is clear that this government is determined to enforce the ban in the interest of the wider Greek society, with no exceptions so far being allowed for any businesses. The ban was only introduced a few weeks ago, so it's too early to judge the long-term impact for our business, but we are monitoring performance closely.

One early insight is that those players that play VLT to both gaming halls and OPAP stores, is shifting a slightly higher element of their activity to OPAP stores. Needless to say that we'll be watching customer behavior closely during the seasonally busy holiday period and are already taking a number of measures to ensure that our players continue to enjoy their gaming experience with OPAP, whether they be a smoker or a non-smoker, including the development of dedicated outside smoking areas. We'll certainly have much more data on this by the time of our next call in March.

Turning now to sports betting on Slide 20, and it was also another good quarter for Pame Stihima, with both live penetration and SSBTs demonstrating once again improved numbers. We're continuously improving our sports betting retail experience by adding more features on the SSBTs and improving the user interface. In addition, and as part of the ongoing digitalization of the retail customer journey, we recently launched an instant cash out option through our retail mobile application, which allows retail players to close out their bets and lock in their profits, even when they are no longer inside an OPAP store.

OPAP's online growing business on Slide 21, has again made steady progress as reflected through our online registered base, now standing at over 125,000 customers and average monthly actives, reaching over 50,000 for Q3. While GGR numbers is still relatively small in terms of the rest of the group, and we will share these at the full year results in March, they are indeed growing rapidly.

What we've already seen over the last few months is a meaningful crossover between our lottery and sports betting customers, and we expect this to confirm opap.gr will in time develop into a unique and attractive online destination.

We believe that the potential for OPAP's own online business is very significant indeed. And in this regard, we're also making the necessary preparations for the new online gaming law, which we expect to be fully implemented and new licenses granted in the first half of 2020.

With regards to the second leg of our dual online strategy on Slide 22, the investment in Stoiximan is already paying off, as you've heard from Pavel already. The first tranche of our EUR 50 million investment is generating favorable returns as a contribution on our net profit line has already reached EUR 4.7 million for the year so far. Stoiximan continues to report impressive growth in both revenues and profitability, with GGR growing 42% and monthly actives well over 150,000 customers. Equally importantly, all countries in which Stoiximan operates demonstrated double-digit growth rates.

In terms of the transaction itself, we're still working hard on the closure of the second part, which will enable OPAP Group to have an overall 69% stake in the Greek and Cypriot operations. Following the recent approval of the Greek competition authorities, we expect the remaining prerequisites, including the approval from the Cypriot competition authorities would also be covered in the following weeks.

When it comes to new ventures on Slide 23, our TORA-related activity continues to evolve nicely. Bill payments transaction set a new record each and every month in Q3. And when taking into account the seasonality of this service together with certain supporting initiatives that are being introduced by the end of the year, we have every reason to believe that December will exceed current numbers, which, in turn, will drive even more traffic into our shops.

We're also now in the final stages of piloting the TORA app, which is expected to be commercially live in the first half of next year. As a reminder, this app will offer a range of everyday convenience services, coupled with certain options that support our own gaming customers, including cashing out online winnings.

Delivering true entertainment to our customers is a particular area of focus. On Slide 24, we show some examples of our most recent new locations offering an appealing gaming experience.

And on Slide 25, I wanted to highlight some of the activities that have taken place in recent months and which have been well received by many thousands of our customers. Markopoulo Park was a venue for 2 separate events, which both exceeded 10,000 visitors, the first ever OPAP music concert and the 73rd Group Derby and we believe that there is more potential to develop this to one of the most popular entertainment destinations in the Africa region, and thereby further extend the trusted OPAP brand.

As it is November, this is also the month of the Athens Marathon for which OPAP was proudly once again the grand sponsor. As in previous years, we combined the event with the opportunity for around 300,000 people to download and use the marathon-related app, which in turn led to a EUR 3.1 million of contributions being made by OPAP to the Children's hospitals here in Athens.

So in conclusion, it was another very busy quarter for the OPAP team. Overall, I'm pleased with both our business and financial performance in Q3. And despite tough comparables against the very strong Q4 last year, we remain confident in meeting our full year 2019 expectations.

With that, I'm concluding my opening statement. And Pavel and I are now ready to answer any questions you might have. Thank you very much for your attention.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) The first question is from the line of Draziotis Stamatios with Eurobank Equities.

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Stamatios Draziotis, Eurobank Equities Investment Firm S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [2]

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May I start with 2 questions relating to your operating performance, and then we could maybe discuss the capital structure? So to start with, could you tell us what the latest run rate of your core Stihima game have looked like? And whether you feel that we are really past the inflection point for this game, please? And secondly, on the -- the recently introduced smoking ban, which you briefly mentioned earlier, could you just maybe comment a bit more on the initial experience so far, primarily in the VLT gaming halls? And maybe elaborate a bit on some of the measures that you said you intend to take in order to mitigate the effect?

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [3]

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Stamatios, sorry, you're going to come back after this one, the questions you had on the capital structure.

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Stamatios Draziotis, Eurobank Equities Investment Firm S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [4]

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I think I'll probably let you provide your insight on these questions before I move on to the last 2, yes.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [5]

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Okay. On the core sports betting experience, I think you talked about an inflection point. I think we're not quite sure how you would define that. But I would say we're past that inflection point on the basis that we're now showing growth. I think it's fair to say that -- and again, we've talked about this on previous calls, it's -- it was a sort of a steady decline in our core sports betting business for many years and we've addressed that over the last sort of 12 to 18 months with SSBTs, with a wider product range, with some changing in our pricing. And as I gave you just now another example of really making the betting experience in our shops very attractive. So the retail cash out option, which is -- and they exist in other markets, but not many other markets is quite an interesting feature for retail customers to engage, particularly around live betting, which is we've shown from our numbers in Greece is growing consistently with most other markets worldwide. So I think there's still more room for sports betting to go. I'll echo what I said on it by any betting business. It's a results business. So you have good months, and you have bad months. But overall, I think, definitely, there's still some more way to go for core sports, I think. On smoking ban, again, it's very fresh. And I keep being told by my Greek colleagues that the sort of a full ban has been attempted many times before by our authorities. But the point I was trying to make is that this time, it seems very clear that this government is determined to enforce it and enforce it consistently across many aspects of society. The small difference I mentioned so far about playability and playing activity in OPAP stores versus gaming is really just a very practical one. So our gaming halls are bigger destination. So if somebody wants to finish their session and don't forget every session in the VLT requires a player card to be inserted into the machine. Somebody has to leave -- effectively leave the premises, go outside, have a cigarette and come back in again. A lot of OPAP stores are obviously much smaller. So that -- and that might seem like a small thing, but the distance to walk to go outside to have the cigarette and come back again sometimes can be quite meaningful. I deliberately haven't sort of made any other comments on the trends because it's very, very early. Even this trend that we're seeing is really something that we've only been noticing over the last couple of weeks, and is really 1% or 2%. So I think you know from previous markets, how smoking can impact any kind of business, particularly kind of late-night businesses, if you like. And again, you'll appreciate any kind of activity happens in the evening, restaurants, bars, bouzouki locations are similarly affected. So we're doing everything we can. So in terms of some of the measures, again, it's obvious things like dedicated smoking areas, looking at even areas as part of the back of a particular location that we can turn into, if you like, a smoking court, and honestly trying to use initiatives that have been used successfully in other markets, particularly in Europe. So what we're facing is not something new, and we've already got quite a few ideas of ways that we think we can ensure that our smoking customers' enjoyment is not affected too much. So like I said, it's really just a couple of weeks old. So I can't really say much more at the moment.

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Stamatios Draziotis, Eurobank Equities Investment Firm S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [6]

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That's very clear. And yes, just another couple of questions on the -- well, related to the capital structure. Just firstly, on the dividend policy, you have communicated your intention to distribute all free cash flow to shareholders irrespective of extraordinary outlays that might come up from time to time relating to M&A activity, which as you have said, will simply result in a temporary uptick in the leverage. Against this background, could you maybe help us understand why you decided to proceed to a special dividend now and maybe tell us whether this will affect at all the FY '19 dividend, i.e. will you still return all the, let's call it, adjusted free cash flow to shareholders' high cash flow, excluding the M&A-related outlays? So that's the first question.

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [7]

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Okay. Thank you for the question. I will try to correct slightly, you said we are distributing -- we intend to distribute all the free cash flow. We always said that we will try to distribute the bulk of our free cash flow. And we certainly intend to do so. When we looked at the structure of our balance sheet we certainly learn, opportunity maybe to increase the leverage a bit and return some more dividend to the shareholders. So yes, for the upcoming extraordinary dividend, we are -- we do plan to really distribute bulk of our free cash flow and complement it with some more external debt and that will be the source for our extraordinary dividend. Then going forward, clearly, we do intend to continue to distribute free cash flows and pay regularly interim and final dividend for the year. The investment activity and M&A acquisitions, obviously, we have the Stoiximan transactions coming up. We have already taken extra EUR 100 million loan for that back at the beginning of October. So that's also the debt, which is already on our balance sheet, and it's mentioned in the 9 months interim management statement.

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Stamatios Draziotis, Eurobank Equities Investment Firm S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [8]

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Okay. That's clear. And lastly, I guess, related to this question is whether you have any plans to tap the credit markets through the issuance of a Eurobond? We recently saw a major Greek corporate proceeding its first such issue up 2.5% cost. So any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [9]

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Thank you. Well, obviously, we are looking at various options. We want to have diversified financing for OPAP. The markets are very good at the moment for the local Greek market and the rates are really positively moving as well as the whole European market. So yes, we are looking at various options how to structure the total debt of the company.

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Operator [10]

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The next question comes from the line of Kourtesis Iakovos with Piraeus Securities.

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Iakovos Kourtesis, Piraeus Securities S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [11]

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My first question has to do with the time frame for Stoiximan. I would like to clarify, would you expect the whole transaction to be completed by the end of 2019, so you will have the full effect in 2020? Second has to -- do you -- you plan any specific initiatives for OPAP-Stoiximan ahead of the Euro 2020 that will take place next year? Third question about JOKER Online, as far as I can see, its accounts -- currently accounts for 4% of total GGR. Do you have any midterm targets? Would you be happy with a 10% in the midterm? You could please further elaborate your plans on this. And about KINO, do you plan to launch it online during 2020, as mentioned in the previous call?

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [12]

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Okay. Thank you very much. So Stoiximan, look, we've been very patient. We're waiting for the authorities to get comfortable. We're delighted that the Greek authorities are happy for us to proceed, and we are patiently waiting for Cyprus. We very much hope that this will be concluded before the end of the year, but obviously it's not in our control completely. But we would hope for that to be the case.

On Pame Stihima for 2020, yes, it's a very big footballing year, every 2 years is a big footballing year. Sadly, Greece will not be participating in the finals next summer, which is a shame. But you're absolutely right, we will be working on a number of different initiatives. To be honest, we haven't finalized all the details of our Euro 2020 plan. We do have a number of activities, including recognizing the 20-year anniversary of the launch of Pame Stihima. So there'll be some communications and some attractive customer offers around that, of course. But we haven't finalized the plans. But certainly, we were very active supporting both our retail and online business.

For JOKER Online, yes, 4% of our total JOKER spend that we see, I think, international benchmarks over a number of years get to about 10%. So we would hope to steadily reach that level. Again, don't forget we've only been running that for 7 or 8 months so far. So it's still very early days for that product.

And then the last one is KINO. Yes, I mean, eventually, at some point in the future, we may well put KINO online. What I mentioned in my script though, probably is more important, is the new online law and the related regulation and the approval of new gaming products that will be formally licensed for the first time to include things like live casino and other gaming products. So I would say that would be more important to us than putting KINO online.

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Operator [13]

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The next question is from the line of Pease, Victoria with Edison.

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Victoria Elaine Pease, Edison Investment Research Limited - Analyst [14]

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I have a couple of questions. The first one is if you could do a lot of chat about regulatory changes in the online, well, in Greece. Just wondering if you could just clarify what's really going on with the sports betting, and what's happening there. And the next question was on your net debt target as you're raising your debt to pay the dividend. I'm just wondering if you have a specific net debt target that you're happy to reach in order to keep paying dividends.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [15]

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Victoria, yes, just so -- I'll take the first one. As you know, there's a sort of a -- I think it's called a transitional period now before the new licenses are issued. Again, we expect that to be some time in the first half of next year because you need the regulation approved and then the normal process for operators to apply. So there's a transitional period, and we're currently operating under that transitional regime, and we would, obviously, apply for a new license in the future. So it's a process. I think what is different again this time is that a bet like the smoking law. The government has shown real commitment and determination to clarify the situation in online. So I know this has been a long-running topic, I think, since even before I came to OPAP 3 or 4 years ago. It feels like 2020 will finally be the year, where we have a very clear online framework.

And then on net debt, I think I'll let Pavel respond.

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [16]

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Yes. So we are carefully looking at the appropriate level of the net debt for OPAP. In the past, we have repeatedly said that the level of leverage of the net debt to EBITDA, which we would feel comfortable with is up to 2 and that remains the case for the time being. So for the foreseeable future, we wouldn't be looking at increasing our leverage to more than 2 in terms of net debt to EBITDA.

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Operator [17]

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The next question comes from the line of Bilgin, Adnan with Metzler Bank.

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Adnan Bilgin, [18]

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Congrats on the results. Very good news across the board, maybe not that much for the smoker community, but everything else looks quite strong. I have a question on the free cash -- or cash conversion ratio. So you had a significant saving with the OpEx line, which you communicated to be sustainable also in the next quarter and going forward. So now my focus shifts below that line actually and free cash flow conversion has been actually quite strong over the last quarters. How should we expect that to perform going forward?

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [19]

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Well, in Q4, we do not expect any extraordinary activities. As I mentioned, we have the big M&A piece coming up, which is the Stoiximan acquisition, for which we already took the debt at the beginning of October, and the cash will be used for that M&A. Otherwise speaking just really about Q4, it's a business as usual, you will know that in terms of the seasonality, it's an important quarter for us in terms of the GGR and there is extra GGR and revenue from the normal operating activity. At the same time, we are running some promotional activities related to the Christmas and to the Christmas season. But there is nothing unusual expected in Q4 compared to previous years. And as was mentioned, we are committed to contain both the marketing expenditure to finish overall at the level of 2018 and also to continue to realize the IT cost savings, which are the results of the last year activities. So those should be projected or so into the Q4.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [20]

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And if I could just add on CapEx. As you know, we've had, over the last couple of years, a fairly significant investment in CapEx, particularly around technology. But as we stated at our Analyst Day, about 12 months ago, about run rate or standard run rate of CapEx of around EUR 20 million to EUR 25 million is what we continue to work towards subject, of course, to any sort of particular one-off transactions or acquisitions. So again, I'm sure -- we haven't been asked about it so far, but we normally get asked about CapEx, so I'm giving you the answer ahead of time.

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Operator [21]

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(Operator Instructions) The next question is from the line of Tzioukalia, Fani with Wood & Co.

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Fani Tzioukalia, Wood & Company Financial Services, a.s., Research Division - Equity Analyst [22]

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So could you please clarify whether the extraordinary dividend will be subject to the scrip dividend program?

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [23]

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Yes. The -- obviously, the Board of OPAP approved the scrip dividend program, which is valid for 5 years. And it includes all dividend distribution, be it interim, normal dividend or extraordinary dividend. So yes, the scrip program applies also to this extraordinary distribution.

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Fani Tzioukalia, Wood & Company Financial Services, a.s., Research Division - Equity Analyst [24]

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Okay. And just to clarify, so the extraordinary dividend announced is irrespective of the normal dividend policy to distribute the bulk of the free cash flow post any potential acquisitions, right?

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Pavel Mucha, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CFO & Executive Director [25]

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As I explained, we do intend to distribute the bulk of our free cash flow plus complemented with some additional extra debt to allow us to pay this extraordinary dividend, while still enabling us to finance the Stoiximan acquisition, for which we already secured the financing.

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Operator [26]

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Ladies and gentlemen, there are no further questions at this time. I will now turn the conference over to Mr. Cope for any closing comments. Thank you.

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Damian Cope, Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A. - CEO & Executive Director [27]

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Thank you very much for your time today, everybody, and we look forward to talking to you again very soon. Thank you. Bye-bye.

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Operator [28]

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Ladies and gentlemen, the conference has now concluded, and you may disconnect your telephone. Thank you for calling, and have a pleasant evening.