Codere continues to bet on Spanish market

Codere says Spain is still of strategic importance.
Codere says Spain is still of strategic importance.

The operator has stressed the importance of its native market despite increased restrictions in the country.

Spain.- Senior management at the Spanish gaming giant Codere has said that the native Spanish market is still of key strategic importance to the company’s future despite serious headwinds.

Chief executive Vincente di Loreto told the company’s “Apostamos x ti” – “We’re betting on you” – conference that Codere would “redouble its efforts and investments” in Spain despite the government tightening advertising restrictions and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Di Loreto said: “Of course, there are difficulties and uncertainties, especially of a regulatory nature, but we will face these by leveraging our strategic pillars and remain convinced of the market’s potential beyond the current situation.”

Codere Spain’s chief operating officer, Alejandro Rodino, agreed, noting that Codere’s turnover in Spain had grown by 16 per cent in the last five years.

He said: “We are continuing to consolidate our leading position in sports betting in the country.

“In addition, we are redefining our commercial proposal with an innovative approach allowing us to offer more value to our customers. 

“Our omni-channel strategy generates greater customer loyalty in a market that our board sees as a priority.”

Rodino also noted that Codere is the only operator with a retail presence across all regions of Spain. 

Ignacio Diez, director of retail marketing for Codere Spain, said the operator’s position as official betting shop partner of Real Madrid would support its omni-channel growth. 

He said Spain’s upcoming new advertising restrictions would mainly affect Codere’s advertising for its online operations but that the operator had a competitive advantage through its strong retail presence.

He said Codere would use that presence to engage customers in physical premises and cross-sell them its online offering without needing to advertise online.

Codere has faced a difficult year, with Covid-19 lockdowns in Spain and elsewhere shutting down its retail operations and sports events suspended for a significant period.

Revenue for the first half fell 54.7 per cent to €317.6m bringing a net loss of €177.6m. Spanish revenue fell 52.2 per cent to €46.0m.

In July, it obtained a €250m refinancing deal with an initial 12.75 per cent interest rate and it has restructured its Italian games machines division.

Emilio Miranda, chief financial officer, said: “In March, a financing plan was launched with the objective of maintaining our finances to meet the group’s payment obligations.

“In Spain, we renegotiated contracts with our main suppliers and providers with the aim to reduce fixed costs and we have had meetings with the autonomous communities to request relief on gaming duties.

“In addition, we have implemented the most painful measure, which was to make a significant section of our staff redundant.”

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