CIRSA growth eroded by Covid-19

Lockdown retail closures erroded growth for CIRSA.
Lockdown retail closures erroded growth for CIRSA.

Spanish operator CIRSA’s strong growth in January and February has been derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spain.- The country’s largest casino group CIRSA has reported that growth in January and February was wiped out by Spain’s Covid-19 lockdown, which forced the company to close its retail gambling presence.

The casino, bingo and game machines operator, which was bought by the Blackstone Group in 2018, saw operating revenue in Q1 fall by 6 per cent year-on-year to €355million.

CIRSA said that growth for the quarter had been in line with expectations until March. Q1 operating profits fell to €89million, down 14 per cent year-on-year.

The company was forced to close down its entire retail presence from March 8. Currently, its only active business unit is Spanish online sportsbook, Sportium, which has suffered from the cancelation of sporting events.

It hopes to restart retail operations in June. It has furloughed 4,400 of its staff, equating to 84% per cent of the workforce.

The company had seen strong growth in 2019.

It said in a statement: “Given the exceptional social and economic situation, management is focusing on safeguarding the sustainability of the company, managing the decisions that protect its future in the short, medium and long term, including measures relating to the company’s liquidity and solvency and reduction of operating costs.”

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