ales during the first nine months of 2009 amounted to 721.2 million euros, 7% less than in the same period of 2008. Gross Operating Income (EBITDA) amounted to 157.3 million euros in the first nine months of the year, an 11.2 % decrease with respect to the same period of the preceding year. With respect to third quarter 09, Ebitda amounted to 52.3 million euros, a 7.8 % decrease, but much higher than the range forecasted by the Company for this period, between 44 and 45 million euros.
These results are basically owing to the continual growth in local currency of the CODERE businesses in Argentina and Mexico, in opposition to the fall in revenues in Máquinas España, the impact of the H1N1 virus in the gaming halls of Mexico and Argentina and the depreciation of the local currencies with respect to the euro.
Net Income for the first nine months of 2009 amounted to 3.1 million euros, as opposed to 5.6 million euros in 2008, a decrease of 44.6%. In Argentina, sales grew by 2.3 % with respect to the first nine months of 2008, reaching 261.1 million euros, owing to the increase in average daily revenues per machine, 11.2 % higher than in 2008 (in local currency).
This increase in revenues was basically owing to the installation of the coinless system referred to as TITO (ticket-inticket-out). EBITDA is situated at 76.1 million euros, 5.2% less than in the same period of the preceding year. The effect of the exchange rate and the impact of the H1N1 virus, which has reduced average daily revenues (resulting in losses of 6 million euros at the EBITDA level), have stood in the way of better results in this market.
In Mexico, sales amounted to 144.2 million euros in the first nine months of the year, a 15.4% decrease with respect to the comparable period. This performance reflects the depreciation of the Mexican peso, decreased sales to Caliente and the impact of the H1N1 virus in second quarter 09, which have been partially offset by the 8.5% increase in the number of gaming terminals installed (totaling 21,236 units) and an increase of 7 bingo halls, resulting in a total of 109. EBITDA fell by 9.6 %, reaching 47 million euros in the first nine months of 2009.
In Spain, sales in the recreational machine area fell by 16.7 % in the first nine months of 2009, and steadied at 132 million euros, reflecting the decrease in average daily revenues per machine, the decreased number of terminals installed (a total of 15,586
terminals, 2 % less than in 2008) and the decrease in the number of machines sold to third parties. EBITDA fell by 37.7 % with respect to 2008, to 32.5 million euros.
In Spain, a gradual evolution in the Sports Betting business can be seen. Revenues for the first nine months of 2009 reached 2.5 million euros, and in the Autonomous Community of Madrid and in the Basque Country the number of centers which are open have gone from 16 to 118. In regard to the remainder of operations in other countries, mention must be made of the businesses in Panama and Uruguay, which are contributing positive revenue and EBITDA results to the Group accounts.
On July 28, 2009 José Antonio, Javier and Encarnación Martínez Sampedro announced they reached a novation agreement with Jesús and Joaquín Franco Muñoz to terminate the Sale Process relating to the Codere shares held directly or indirectly by the Martínez Sampedros (approximately 71% of Codere’s total shares outstanding) through the novation of the Sale and Purchase Agreements of March 2006 by the Martínez Sampedros relating to the purchase from the Francos of a total of 17,882,207 shares of Codere.