he President and Delegate Councellor of Codere, José Antonio Martínez Sampedro, made a balance of 2008 and also spoke about the current worldwide crisis. The director pointed that “this has been a difficult year in which we have seen how financial problems led to a global recession with special incidence in some countries, among them, we have to include Spain, unfortunately.”
As anticipated by the company, “Codere declared resistant, but not immune to economic crisis and its consequences, less activity and, definitely, less consumption.” Despite that, “Codere presents some positive results, if we consider the circumstances, but we cannot consider them satisfactory,” mentioned the President of the Shareholders Council.
Results in the exercise 2008
During 2008, Codere total income grew a 20%, 1,054 million euros, and the EBITDA reached 235 million euros, which represents an improvement of 17%; however, in the net Benedit, loss is reported again, this time, for 11 million euros, as a consequence of the extraordinary provisions that, with 42 million euros, have been brought to Bingos Italy and to the operations that generated losses and have ceased their activity during the current year.
Investments have been reduced almost a 60%, to 141 million euros, attended almost completely with funds generated by the business, allowing this way that the two main indicators of the activity have continued growing: Recreational Machines, with an increment of 11%, up to 54,818 units, and Bingo Halls, with an increment of 7%, reaching 137 venues.
Operations in Argentina and Mexico have kept a growth rate good enouth to offset the decrease suffered by the Spanish market. Operations of recreational machines in Italy and Colombia have improved results; loss has been reduced in Brazil but, on the other hand, results of European bingo halls have decreased and the loss of the project Apuestas Deportivas in Spain have increased, as well as corporate expenses.
Capacity to adapt to the current situation
Martínez Sampedro anticipated that “2009 is not easy either, and is a new challenge to our capacity to adapt to the new circumstances. We will reduce our investments even more, so, if market credit conditions are appropriate, we could auto-finance totally. We will also reduce our corporate expenses, to acomodate to a scenario that demands to bring priority to the consolidation of the existing conditions, improving its efficiency and productivity.”
Codere Council of Shareholders approved the agreements proposed by the Administration Council and, in particular, the Annual Accounts belonging to the year 2008, the management of the Management Council and the appointment as new auditor of the company PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Besides, all the councils were re-elected and it was authorized the acquisition of their own shares, in a direct way or through the Societies of the Group.