ollection during 2008 was 1,054 billion euros, a 19.8% more than in 2007. Gross Operating Benefit (EBITDA) has been of 234.7 million euros in 2008, which represents an increment of 17.2% with regards to the previous year.
The important growth of the business has been produced in a context of sustained appreciation of the euro compared to local currency and reductions in investment. In case of constant fluctuation in currency, incomes and EBITDA would have increased a 25.4% and 24.3% respectively.
In spite of the positive evolution of the main markets, Codere reports a net loss of 10.6 million euros during 2008, as a consequence of the deterioration of assets of Bingos Italia, the loss of 9.5 million of the interrupted activities in Italy (direct management and sportsbooks), the launching of a sportsbooks business in Spain and the effects of the euro appreciation compared to local currencies.
The optimization and efficiency in the use of resources has allowed that, in spite of the total investments performed during 2008, it reached 141.3 million euros, a 52.2% less than in 2007, it has been achieved an EBITDA in 2008 according to the previsions. The operative cash flow reached us$ 121.5 million euros, which represent an increment of 16.6% regarding 2007.
In Argentina, the activity of Codere Group keeps on growing, achieving a collection of 352.5 million euros in 2008, a 17.9% more than in 2007. It has been produced an increment in the daily average collection per machine as a result of the installation of TITO (ticket in-ticket out) system in the gambling terminals. In 2008, the EBITDA totalized 110 million euros, which means an increment of 11.7% with regards to the previous year.
In Mexico, collection grew a 60.6% (232.8 million euros) in 2008, due to the increment in the number of electronic bingo terminals (21.2% with regards to the previous year) and ICELA consolidation. The EBITDA increased a 19.2% with regards to 2007, reaching 69 million euros.
In Spain, collection in the area of recreational machines grew a 2.2% within 2008, reaching 208.6 million euros, reflecting the increment in the number of recreational machines installed (15,963 in 2008, a 3.4% more than in 2007).
The economic slowdown in the Spanish market has been offset by the growth in Mexico and Argentina and the reduction in loss in other operations, including machines in Italy, Brazil and Colombia.