Codere loses €61.7m in 2019 as LatAm gambling markets struggle


codere-2019-latin-american-gambling-strugglesSpanish gambling operator Codere reported falling revenue and earnings in the final quarter of 2019 as growth in its modest online operations was offset by Latin American pressures.

Official figures show Codere generated revenue of €344m in the last three months of 2019, down 4.7% year-on-year but only 0.2% off Q3 2019’s total. Adjusted earnings were down 18.3% year-on-year to €64.7m, although this was 3.4% on a sequential basis.

For the year as a whole, revenue was off 5.9% to €1.39b, mostly due to a €90.5m decrease in Argentina. Adjusted earnings fell 12% to €249m while the company booked a net loss of €61.7m

Codere’s earnings underwent a geographic shakeup in Q4, with Mexico’s share falling from 38% in Q418 to 24% in the most recent quarter. Argentina’s share increased four points to 28%, Spain grew by eight points to 18%, Italy dipped one point to 11% and Uruguay gained two points to 9%. Online gambling’s share doubled to an admittedly minuscule 2%.

In Argentina, Codere’s 13 gaming halls in Buenos Aires province struggled due to the sharp devaluation of the local currency – down 55.2% versus the Euro in Q4 – which pushed revenue down 8.4% to €75.9m, while earnings slipped 4.1% to €18.8m. Viewed in local currency terms, revenue and earnings were up 42.2% and 48.7%, respectively.

In Mexico, where Codere operates 96 gaming halls, 742 sports betting points of sale, one racetrack and an online gambling site, revenue fell 8% to €73.3m while earnings were down 3% to €16.4m.

In January, Codere secured credit lines that it plans to use to bolster its Mexican operations, which suffered a black eye last year when the company dismissed its Latin American manager after learning he’d been overstating revenue and understating costs, particularly in the Mexican market.

In Codere’s home market of Spain, revenue from three gaming halls and over 7k retail betting locations fell a modest 1.5% to €47.6m while earnings shot up 47.3% to €12.1m. In Italy, revenue was down 1.4% to €89m while earnings slid 24.3% to €7.4m.

As for Codere’s lesser markets, Uruguay revenue was up 2.8% to €18.8m while earnings rose 10% to €6.1m. Panama revenue fell nearly 12% to €20.3m but earnings plunged by three-quarters to just €1.3m. In Colombia, revenue fell 18.2% to €4.7m and earnings dropped by more than half to €800k.

Online revenue gained 12.5% to €14.3m while earnings more than tripled to €4m. Full-year online revenue was up more than one-third to €59.8m but earnings soared to €9.9m from just €600k in 2018, with most of the gains credited to growth in Spain and Mexico.