International edition
September 23, 2020

Statements by Robert Gray, Financial Director of Codere

“Despite the crisis, business is still profitable for Codere in Spain”

(Spain).- In an interview published last week by the Spanish newspaper Negocios.com, the Financial Director of Codere, Robert Gray, talked about the current situation of the company in the Spanish market and the withdrawal of William Hill. “We are in a stage in which we are cutting costs and we have reduced investments”, pointed the director.

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oes the complex share situation of Codere affect the daily situation of the company?
Absolutely not. I think the response of Codere to the change of rythm of the markets and the change of the capital cost, that basically involves an increment in the type of interests and a decrease in the type of share, has been common to other businesses. We have reduced the investment and the costs. We are taking advantage of this moment to be sure than now, in times of shortage, bad habits disappear. So we have carried out the management we had to do in moments like this.

What does this program of cost reduction consist of?
It is a program of racionalization of the investment. The cost of capital has increased a lot, so we are revising all the investment projects we have to assure that profitability is enough. As there is almost no access to capital, we are adjusting to live with the cash flow we generate. It means a very important change, because for many years we have had access to capital. We had used all the cash flow, plus external funding, to invest in growth. In 2008 and 2009, we are in a period of cash generation approach and we are facing our financial obligations with the assets we have. I think it is important to say that the business in Spain is still profitable, despite the fact that nowadays, incomes are not as important they used to be.

What is the level of the debt?
Our debt is prudent. Besides, we have reduced leverage since we have issued the first bond in 2005. Our debt is 3,3 times the ebitda of recent months, which we think we han handle, particularily if we consider the main amount of our debt is the bond that has a deadline in 2015.

Do you have any deadline this year?
No, the only relevant thing that we have planned in the following two years is our banking line, that concluyes in October 2010.

Will you be able to face your payment with the cash generation of the business?
We do not see any trouble with the renovation of that line. Besides, it is small with regards to the bond and the capitalization of the company and, if necessary,  we would start generating cash in order to pay it.

Does it mean sales?
No, it means that we would continue with the discipline in cash generation. Nowadays we have borrowed justo 11 million, although it is a line of 60 million.

In Spain, your partner in the sportsbook business, William Hill has decided to abandon the society. Are you in search of another partner or you will remain alone?
The two alternatives are possible. The withdrawal of William Hill has been very friendly and gradual. They have considered the macroeconomic situation and, besides, the law in the sportsbooks sector goes very slow. In fact, there are just two communities that allow them.

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