hat can you tell me about the show?
David Orrick: We can talk about the show with something of the sense of mixed feelings. On the positive feelings, which are the most important, the 2012 edition of ICE Totally Gaming has been completely excellent: the reaction of the customers, the number of customers, the organization of the show have all been absolutely excellent.
So, why do I say mixed feelings? Well, because today, when we closed the show, we also closed one era, one chapter of the book that is ICE. After 20 years, we move away from Earls Court and next year we will be in a bright shining new facility at ExCel, and immediately from the close of the show begins the ongoing process of ensuring that next year show will be even better. To do that, we have to inform our customers and all our business partners exactly how to plan for the next chapter of ICE. So, as the last person to leave Earls Court tonight, we ask them to do us a favor, turn out the lights and mark the pages in the diary for next year’s show.
Are you planning to make the same exhibition area in ExCel than in Earls Court?
DO: I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but I can guarantee you that the Novomatic presence at ICE Totally Gaming in 2013 will be expanded considerably from here at Earls Court, because, as I said, we are going to have a much newer and a completely custom built exhibition facility, and so we have the freedom of space to be able to grow quite considerably.
Max Lindenberg: We are already planning the show for 2013 and we have to start quite early with that because we have lots of ideas in mind to cause a “wow” effect for customers at the new ICE venue.
Which was the balance of last year?
DO: The balance of last year was extremely successful for the Novomatic Group. In fact, although the figures are not yet consolidated and validated, 2011 was quite probably the best year the group has ever had in its history. And that is set against the continuing background of economic uncertainty and the economic difficulties in some areas. As our President, Professor Graf has said many times: “In difficult times, one thing is always created and that is opportunity”. We have been able to clearly see various market opportunities coming to fruition.
For example, the VLT market in Italy. The success of that market and the economic benefit through taxation of gaming revenues it brings to the government, in a country where Novomatic has more than 14,000 machines in operation now, has created a whole new possibility in other areas. For example, in Greece. It’s not secret to anybody who reads the economic papers that the situation in Greece is extremely difficult and, if by following on from the Italian model of VLT operations, they can raise additional tax revenues that will benefit not just the government but also directly help the citizens of Greece. We are looking forward to that opportunity in the next years.
ML: We’ve also been extremely happy to announce that with our biggest customer in the UK, Grosvenor, we’ve reached a very positive milestone with more than 1,000 multi-player terminals in the operations, So I also want to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to our valued customers in the UK for their trust over the last years and thank you also for the good partnership we’ve been able to develop.
On the other hand, the great success we had in 2011 was also based in our strategy, not being just a manufacturer and supplier of electronic gaming equipment, but also an operator of more than 2,000 venues worldwide; coming from casinos and betting shops, and including our online branch, Greentube IES, which is developing extremely well.
All these factors helped the Group to achieve the milestone of 3 billion euros in revenues in 2011, with a total of 18,000 highly skilled and very motivated employees worldwide, of which 2,750 are located in Austria. This is vital information that describes the very positive year the company experienced in 2011.