Year of adjustments sees OPAP financials impacted by higher taxes and infrastructure costs

first_imgShare Presenting its full-year 2016 results, Greek gambling operator OPAP details that its financial performance has been impacted by higher tax charges combined with a higher operational outlay as the firm prepares for significant operational changes in 2017While OPAP sustained total group wagering at €4.2 billion and group gross gaming revenues at €1.39 billion, the firm’s earnings and profit metrics would be significantly impacted by the Hellenic government tax hike to 35% on betting and gaming services.Closing its FY 2016 performance, OPAP governance would report a Group EBITDA of €307 million down 18% on corresponding FY 2015’s €377 million. The declined earnings result would see OPAP governance declare FY year profits of €170 million down 19% on FY 2015’s €210 million.Despite the firm’s woes, New CEO Damien Cope (appointed May 2016) stated that the firm had performed to within its expectations, in what was a tough year of adjustments for OPAP operations and services.Looking forward, this March OPAP governance secured a €200 million bond issue, through Greek and foreign investors, which will be used to spend on corporate infrastructure projects.In Q1 2017, the firm has begun its rollout of new video lottery and self-service betting terminals powered by Playtech BGT. Furthermore, the company has pushed for the integration of new player management and business intelligence systems which will better connect its 350 Greek retail betting points.Damien Cope commented on corporate progress: “During 2016 I set out the company’s long-term ambition and the key strategic priorities, and I am pleased with the progress that the OPAP team has achieved across many of the key initiatives. 2017 will be a year of unprecedented levels of change for OPAP, and we have started well.“The year began with the smooth deployment of the first VLT machines in our new ‘Play’ Gaming Halls. We also concluded agreements with our new technology partners and worked on this transformation program is well underway. More recently we successfully launched a common retail bond and finalised a new contractual relationship with our agent network.“Although there is still a long way to go I am confident that the successful delivery of our plans for 2017 will act as a major step forward in the achievement of our “2020 Vision.” Submit Share OPAP delivers on Athens children’s hospital CSR projects July 6, 2020 Related Articles SAZKA confident of European comeback as assets weather COVID-19 storm June 12, 2020 Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance June 11, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more

Shosholoza shines at Barcolana

first_imgShosholoza was the first ever America’s Cup class yacht to enter the event which celebrates its 40th edition this year and boasts a set of mind-boggling statistics: 20 000 competing sailors, about 3 000 spectator boats on the water, and well over 350 000 enjoying the spectacle and related festivities ashore and all along the coastline. ‘A very good race tactically’“But we had a very good race tactically; our crew did good work in the light wind. We have flown the South African flag all week and we have had fun. 15 October 2008 ‘A lot of fun’“This is a crazy race, absolutely unique, you just can’t compare it to any other race in the world and we had a lot of fun. It was great.” said Cian. “I have full respect for them. They had a good race,” said Chieffi. “Now we are looking forward to racing in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, in February next year and then we want to hold a follow up America’s Cup class event in South Africa in June,” said Captain Sarno. At the helm of Alpha Romeo was 2007 America’s Cup winning skipper Brad Butterworth of the Swiss Team Alinghi, with many of his crew on board. Second was the maxi Jena, owned by Slovenian Mitja Kosmna, which finished in three hours, two minutes and 20 seconds. Rousing cheerTeam Shosholoza, skippered by Paolo Cian, set the ships’ horns booming and got a rousing cheer from the massive spectator fleet as they crossed the finish in three hours, nine minutes and 26 seconds, just ahead of the fast RC 44 Black Pearl, skippered by Russell Coutts, the three-time America’s Cup winning skipper, who completed the race in three hours, 10 minutes and 25 seconds. Shosholoza tactician Tommaso Chieffi said the the regatta had shown that in light air Shosholoza could triumph. He said it was also exciting for Shosholoza to take Coutts at the finish as at one point the super-fast smaller boat had been almost five minutes ahead. Despite the dying wind Shosholoza, with her high mast, maintained momentum and edged the RC44. “I have never ever seen anything like this. Incredible! And it is amazing that the crew of an America’s Cup yacht can still give so much emotion to the spectators in a regatta like this. It is not true that America’s Cup class yachts can only sail at the America’s Cup, they can also be competitive in regattas like the Barcolana. Of course we wanted to win. Why else did we come here? “We were a bit unlucky on the first leg when the wind went right and we were forced to do a couple of gybes, which is painful because we lose so much time. But this boat, even though she is heavy, is very fast upwind, even in very light winds, and we could make the top three. Even so, the South Africans were edged out at the finish by New Zealander Neville Crichton’s maxi Alpha Romeo, which took the gun in two hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds for his fifth Barcolana victory. Shosholoza skipper Paolo Cian, who has now clocked up a first, a second and two thirds as a skipper in four Barcolana events, described Shosholoza’s performance as “incredible”. South Africa’s America’s Cup Team Shosholoza was third across the finish line in a spectacular fleet of 2 000 yachts that competed in the 16-nautical mile Trieste Barcolana at the weekend. The event is Europe’s biggest international sailing regatta and the only race in the world to set a single start line for so many yachts. Shosholoza founder and managing director Captain Salvatore Sarno said he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the event, the Shosholoza fans who crowded the dockside to cheer and support the South African America’s Cup team, the hundreds of people who wanted autographs, and the unique spectacle on the water. Crush of yachtsThe light winds also minimised the chaos of the seemingly endless crush of yachts lining up to cross the comparatively short 1.5 nautical-mile start line. The super-light breezes, which fluctuated from four knots at the mid-morning start to six knots and then died a mere two at the finish favoured the South African yacht which was purpose-built for the tight windward/leeward courses of America’s Cup racing, as opposed to the loose reaching conditions of the Barcolana. Spectator fleetTrimmer David Rae from Cape Town said the spectator fleet was way bigger than that in Valencia at the America’s Cup last year. “For the folks back home to understand how big the event is I would say it is like the Vaal Dam’s Round-the-island Race – just four times bigger!” Grinder Johann Spilhaus described the race as an awesome spectacle and pitman Solomon Dipeere from Johannesburg said it was simply amazing. “I have never ever raced against 2 000 boats before. It was beautiful.” Locals describe the Trieste Barcolana as a celebration of all things nautical. It is an end of the sailing season celebration not only for the city of Trieste but the whole of Italy and other countries too. Source: Team Shosholozalast_img read more

Facebook’s Open Compute Hardware Hackathon Yields Server Debugging Solution

first_imgGrowing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Why You Love Online Quizzes taylor hatmaker Want to get something done fast?  Take Facebook’s advice and crowdsource it to a hackathon – the shortest, most-caffeinated distance between an idea and the real world. This week in Santa Clara, Calif., Facebook’s Open Compute Project held its very first hardware hackathon – a competition run in parallel to two days of talks and sessions tackling some of the tech industry’s least sexy – but most foundational – challenges. (More from the Open Compute Summit: Facebook’s “Group Hug” Frees The Microprocessor From The Motherboard.)Operation Cheesy FingersThe winning hack tackled server debugging – a notoriously analog process for anyone who’s spent time in a datacenter. The team of four, including one Facebook mechanical engineer, crafted a way to aggregate the debug information from an entire rack and pipe it over the Web. “You could have someone managing a data center in Portland from Menlo Park,” said Zak Homuch, one of the event’s coordinators. “The code name for this was ‘Project Cheesy Fingers,’ because the idea is that you should be able to run a datacenter by sitting in your recliner with a beer and cheetos,” explains Andrew Cencini, a Bennington Computer Science Professor who led the software side of the hack. “The only reason you should get up from the chair and wipe the cheesy fingers off is if there’s actually a problem.”From Hack To The RackThe winning team gets a choice of having their design made into a prototype or being granted a provisional patent to protect their IP – Cencini’s group chose the latter. The debug port hack, designed around Facebook’s existing server hardware, could be a prototype with just a few more hours of work. Once prototyped, the design could be retrofitted to the company’s existing servers painlessly, making the datacenters run more efficiently, all with just a handful of hours of crowdsourced collaboration.Facebook And The Open Compute ProjectThe Open Compute Summit’s hackathon had 100 entrants when it kicked off last Wednesday afternoon, though only about 40 saw the challenge through the full 12 hours. Other finalists included a chimney designed to pump heat away from the hardware and mesh that would create a 3D heat-model for a rack. The Open Compute Project was conceived just 18 months ago by a small cluster of Facebook engineers. Steeped in the company’s open source, hacker-friendly tradition, they wanted to pry the proprietary lid off of server and datacenter hardware, opening it up with the same collaborative gusto that thrives in the world of open source software.Image by Taylor Hatmaker. How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?center_img Related Posts Tags:#Facebook#hacking#Open Source 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…last_img read more

Pochettino denies Kane future reports

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Kane not talking about Tottenham future – Pochettino Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 23:20 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Harry Kane - cropped Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Transfers Harry Kane AFC Bournemouth Juventus Premier League Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus UEFA Champions League AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur The Spurs manager has dismissed reports that the striker has vowed to stay at the club for at least one more season Harry Kane is not talking about his future at Tottenham, says Mauricio Pochettino, amid reports the striker has pledged to stay at the club.Kane has been linked with a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season, with rumours about his future intensifying after Spurs were knocked out of the Champions League this week.Defeat to Juventus leaves the FA Cup as Tottenham’s only remaining chance of winning their first silverware of the Pochettino era, while Spurs also face a battle to secure Champions League qualification. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp However, reports on Friday suggested that Kane had vowed to stay for at least one more season, with Spurs set to move into a new stadium in 2018-19.But Pochettino dismissed reports about Kane’s future ahead of Tottenham’s Premier League fixture at Bournemouth on Sunday.”Rumours – I need to tell you that it doesn’t affect me,” Pochettino told reporters. “You need to live with these rumours – they’re part of football.”The most important thing is to ensure the rumours don’t affect the team and the club. The media rumours never affect our future decisions. A thousand rumours about everyone. You’ll be mad explaining every situation. It’s not going to help anyone.”Harry is so disappointed after Wednesday. You think he has time to talk with me about the future? That’s impossible. No one can believe this situation. The players are so focused on beating Juventus, now they’re so focused on being ready again.”We’re in a position in the table when you need to care, achieve points and get in the top four.”Very proud to win the @premierleague player of the year at the London Football Awards last night. Great work done by the @Willow_Fdn #LFA18 — Harry Kane (@HKane) March 2, 2018 Kane – joint top-scorer in the Premier League this season with 24 goals – has also been tipped to become the permanent England captain.But Pochettino believes the striker has competition for the armband from a Tottenham team-mate.”It’s Gareth Southgate’s decision. I cannot say more about that as it’s not my business,” Pochettino said. “He, Eric Dier – the last captain for England – [has the] capacity and quality to be a captain, of course. It’s not my decision.”last_img read more

Messi scores fastest goal of his career

first_imgBarcelona v Chelsea Messi scores fastest goal of his career as Dembele opens Barcelona account Seth Vertelney Last updated 1 year ago 04:07 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Lionel Messi Barcelona Getty Images Barcelona v Chelsea Lionel Messi Chelsea Barcelona UEFA Champions League The 30-year-old netted just more than two minutes into Wednesday’s Champions League encounter, setting a new personal record Lionel Messi has scored the fastest goal of his career with his opener against Chelsea on Wednesday as Ousmane Dembele netted his first goal for Barcelona. The Barcelona star netted a right-footed effort at the near post just two minutes and eight seconds into the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie at Camp Nou. That strike was the earliest the 30-year-old Argentine has ever scored in a game either for club or country.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp 02:08 – Lionel Messi has scored the fastest goal of his career (Barcelona and Argentina). Ray. — OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 14, 2018 Barcelona took a 2-1 lead on aggregate with Messi’s strike. The goal was the 601st of Messi’s illustrious career, after he reached the 600-goal mark against Atletico on March 4. Just 18 minutes later, Messi stole the ball away from Cesc Fabregas and beat a pair of defenders before assisting for Dembele, who made it 2-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. That goal was the first Dembele had scored for Barcelona since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund last summer.Dembele has struggled with injuries during his debut season at Camp Nou, but finally opened his account for Barca on his 12th appearance for the club.Messi would go on to add a second goal on the night in the second half – the 100th Champions League strike of his career. Barcelona won the match 3-0 on the night, advancing to the quarter-finals with a 4-1 aggregate triumph.last_img read more

Is your s*@t detector on?

first_imgErnest Hemingway said in the Paris Review once, “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector.” I love Ernest Hemingway. His writing is so clean and authentic, it gleams.We should all strive to have this essential gift so we can be good communicators. It’s oh-so-easy to fall into jargon, foundationspeak and meaningless blather. In fact, a professional I shall not name said a write-up I just gave him was “MBA B.S.” because it lacked the usual zest. I guess he has one of those detectors. It seems to have a very sensitive instrument panel.I’ve got BS on the mind as I read a most hilarious book on marketing and corporate culture — Martin Lukes: Who Moved My Blackberry? of Financial Times fame. If you’re not familiar with this gem, it lampoons my profession in fine style. The fictional Martin works for a company that spends a fortune on rebranding from A&B Global to the absurdly umlaut-adorned a-b glöbâl and hires firms like !Eureka!Wow! which is a “one-stop talent shop to leverage solutions that excite clients.” Martin is so full of BS and yet so close to the mark in his satirical BS, marketing “blue sky, out of box” thinking that I burst out laughing – and blush for my whole profession.My point is, I fall into BS – albeit generally by accident, not intention – and so do most marketers. So do many fundraisers. The trick is to have a built-in detector, or to know someone with one, that can keep you honest, hype-free and therefore more compelling as a communicator. Someone who notices the jargon and calls foul at cliches. You ESPECIALLY need this person if you have to write a lot of grant proposals to foundations AND appeals to donors. The foundation world will create some bad habits – you’ll fall into words that work for foundations but flop with donors.Here are some words that should set off your detector: synergy, leverage, empowerment, participatory, unrestricted. When I worked at CARE and got information from the program department, I regularly had to pencil through “lactating women” in favor of “nursing mothers.”Here is a helpful detector to keep jargon away: Nonprofit jargon finderDo you know others? Please share them.last_img read more

DFID Launches Public Consultation on Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health

first_imgPosted on July 29, 2010October 16, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Earlier this week, the Department for International Development (DFID) announced a public consultation focused on reproductive, maternal and newborn health. The goal of the consultation is to gather views and opinions from around the world to inform their forthcoming business plan for improving reproductive, maternal and neonatal health.“We particularly want to hear what people in the UK and around the world have to say on the subject of reproductive, maternal and newborn health. We want to know more about your views, opinions and experiences. This will help us to understand different viewpoints, how these issues might vary in different countries, and how DFID could work better with partners….”There are four ways to participate in the public consultation: take a short survey, provide in-depth feedback, email a response, or facilitate a group discussion.Click here to participate–and to learn more about how the consultation works. Click here to read more about the forthcoming business plan for reproductive, maternal and neonatal health. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Wilshere confirms Arsenal exit

first_imgArsenal Wilshere confirms Arsenal exit despite agreeing to new contract Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 04:35 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Jack Wilshere Arsenal 2017-18 Getty Images Arsenal Premier League The long-serving midfielder is to become a free agent following talks with Unai Emery, with a 17-year association with the Gunners brought to a close Jack Wilshere has announced that he will leave  Arsenal after 17 years despite having agreed to sign a new contract on reduced terms.The 26-year-old’s future at Emirates Stadium had been the subject of much conjecture throughout the 2017-18 campaign.Arsene Wenger regularly expressed a belief that a product of the club’s academy system would commit to fresh terms , with plenty of talks held in north London. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Those discussions eventually led to Wilshere reaching a compromise which suited all parties, with the England international prepared to take a pay cut in order to stay on.Injury issues had influenced that offer, with Arsenal eager to see a home-grown talent prove his form and fitness if remaining on their books.There has, however, been a U-turn following a meeting between Wilshere and new Gunners boss Unai Emery.A man with 197 Arsenal appearances to his name wrote in a message in Instagram : “I can confirm that I will be leaving Arsenal when my contract expires at the end of June.”Following a number of extensive conversations with those at the club, and in particular a recent meeting with new manager Unai Emery, I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have due to purely footballing reasons.”As has widely been reported, I, along with my representative have been in talks with the club for a number of months with a view to signing a new contract to extend my stay at the Emirartes.”My intention throughout these discussions has always been to remain an Arsenal player. I have been on the books at Arsenal for 17 years and have always felt part of the fabric of the club. Such was my desire to stay that I had in fact recently agreed to sign a financially reduced contract in order to commit my future to the club.”However following my meeting with the new manager I was made aware that although the reduced contract offer remained, it was made clear to me that my playing time would be significantly reduced should I decide to stay.”I am sure everyone can understand that at this point in my life and career I need to be playing regular first team football and following my meeting with Mr Emery I came away feeling that it would be very difficult to do so at Arsenal.”Given this, I feel I have no option but to pursue other opportunities in order to progress my career on the pitch.Jack Wilshere Arsenal“I have experienced some incredible times at Arsenal and have met friends that will last a lifetime. I leave with memories that will stay with me forever from my time at the club. From making my debut at such a young age, to playing in the Champions League and of course winning two FA Cups in consecutive seasons, there are just too many highlights to mention.”There will be the opportunity to talk properly when the time is right but for now I would just like to thank everyone at the club for everything over the past 17 years, in particular Arsene Wenger and his staff, all of my teammates over the years, everyone at the Academy for helping me to fulfil my dream and of course the fans, who I have always shared such a special relationship with.”I will never be able to truly repay the love, faith and belief that the fans have always shown in me. It’s meant so much to me and my family over the years and I hope you are able to celebrate the success you deserve in the coming years. Thank you.”I would like to place on record my respect for Mr Emery and my appreciation for his honesty, and I wish him, the team and the club all the very best for the future.”I’m feeling fit, sharp and strong and will be working tirelessly to ensure I am in peak condition ahead of the new season.”I’ll now be taking the time necessary to consider my options before deciding on the next stage of my career.”Goal revealed earlier on Tuesday that Crystal Palace and Southampton are among those eager to bring Wilshere onto their books , while West Ham and AC Milan have been mooted as alternative landing spots.last_img read more

Salah injury rued by Cuper

first_imgMohamed Salah Salah injury rued by Cuper as Egypt head for early exit Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 06:06 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mohamed Salah Egypt Yuri Zhirkov Russia World Cup Gabriel Bouys Mohamed Salah Russia v Egypt Russia Egypt World Cup The Pharoahs are almost certain to be heading out of the World Cup, leaving their head coach wondering what might have been had his star been fit Mohamed Salah’s injury denied Egypt having their star man on top form at the World Cup, said coach Hector Cuper.Although Salah scored on his World Cup debut , converting a penalty he won himself, it proved a mere consolation with Egypt beaten 3-1 by hosts Russia in Tuesday’s Group A meeting in St Petersburg.With no points to show from their first two matches, only an extraordinary set of results could now keep Egypt in the competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Salah sat out Egypt’s opener, Uruguay claiming a last-gasp 1-0 win, with Cuper rueing not being able to rely on the forward who scored 44 goals in all competitions in his first season for Liverpool.”Nobody can deny his importance,” Cuper told reporters of Salah, who battled to recover from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final. “It’s hard to say what would have happened had he been on top form.”Salah was feeling good to play, he was in shape. I always say behind a brilliant player there has to be a team, I am proud because there is a team.”Perhaps we weren’t decisive enough but we have to recognise the great effort they have done after 28 years of Egypt not taking part in a World Cup.”Cuper opted not to use Salah for Egypt’s Group A opener and the Egyptian Football Association subsequently released a statement indicating the attacker could have played, at odds with the assessment of the coach.Sergey Ignashevich Russia Mohamed Salah Egypt World Cup“When we talk about 100 per cent, we have to look at the medical side,” Cuper said. “I was told by the medical team that the player was good and the player felt himself he was good to play.”As for his physical shape, he couldn’t prepare with us in the training camp, he had to train alone. Perhaps that might mean his physical ability was reduced, but I was convinced he was in optimal shape.”What if he hadn’t injured himself in the Champions League final? Then he would have been able to train with the same intensity as the rest of the team. We thought the priority was to help him to make sure he was 100 per cent recovered. I think he showed today that he was.”He suffered an injury and we were all worried. We would all have preferred it not to have happened, but it did. I am sad he was not at the training camps with everyone else. They were vital, but the priority was for him to recover from his shoulder [injury].”Questions will now be asked about Cuper’s future, but the 62-year-old is holding on to a slim hope Egypt could yet make it into the knockout stage.”Whether I should stay in my post or not does not only depend on me. If those responsible are not happy with what I have done then I will be the first to leave, no doubt about that,” Cuper added.”We still have another match to play. It’s difficult to say this but in a World Cup you have to wait until the very last minute, although it’s true that our chances are minimal.”last_img read more