009 has been a challenging year for the industry in general, How was it for Novomatic?
David Orrick: Against the background of global difficulty, Novomatic was in the fortunate but largely pre-planned position of having a relatively good year, because it had a record year in 2008, when we achieved 2.5 billion euros turnover. That success in 2008, the Group’s best ever, allowed us to maintain our plan of developments and also our investments. In many aspects, Novomatic has been more prepared to weather the storm and, as we move towards the end of 2009, we can see the first signs of recovery coming. The reaction, particularly here in Las Vegas, and also in SAGSE Buenos Aires, is that there is not only an understandable wish for better times, obviously, but also an expectation that those better times are coming sooner rather than later.
Max Lindenberg: And there has also been some progress in the last year, especially if you have a look to South America, where we have been able to improve our market position and our commitment there. We are very happy with the progress achieved in that market.
And which are the goals for next year?
ML: Our next show is IGE in London 2010, which is our most important presentation of the year and where we traditionally exhibit all our big innovations. We are very confident that our new products will succeed in the different international markets, as the upcoming product range is fantastic. I am convinced that we have a great new hardware and software for our customers world wide..
A couple of months before that big show, what did you decide to bring to Las Vegas this year?
DO: That’s always a difficulty. The two shows are too close to each other. I know it has to do with the agenda, but having this show in mid November then leading to the Christmas and New Year break and having London in January is challenging. However, our customers coming to Las Vegas have expectations that Novomatic will present new innovations, so we brought here 12 brand new games and everybody here said “12 new games, that is great”. We are in the happy position to say “yes, it is great…but wait until London, because there’s much more coming”. In terms of the closeness of diary and agenda, because both shows have long-term contracts with exhibiting venues, we can say it generates extra challenges, for sure.
So, as every year, Novomatic will use London’s show as the launching platform of the new developments?
DO: Yes, for sure. Here in Las Vegas we are one of the biggest companies exhibiting. In London, we are THE biggest, that’s why we have to make a big expression in London, and we will surely do it.
How was the show for Novomatic this year and which was the feedback from potential clients?
DO: First of all, we have to say that the show has reduced in size. But the floor traffic has been very good. We had a lot of visitors, most notably from South America; a lot of people came from South America, and from other international markets as well. We’ve been extremely busy, we’ve done good business, and we’ve made good new contacts. Overall, we are quite satisfied.
ML: Actually the commercial representatives of our South American subsidiary companies in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay have been here at the show; and they have also been very satisfied with the results.