Mexico becomes Codere Online’s biggest market after 2023 surge

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The 40% increase in full-year revenue was driven by a strong fourth quarter in which net gaming revenue (revenue minus accounting adjustments, NGR) hit a record €50.1m.

The 2023 total beat the operator’s projected revenue range of €140m-€150m for 2023. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of negative €12m also beat Codere Online’s €20m-€30m loss projected at the start of the year.

Codere Online’s 2023 optimism comes after it also surpassed expectations in 2022, when NGR reached €122.9m, a 48% increase on the year prior.

Mexico the main event for Codere Online

A particularly key market for Codere Online in 2023 was Mexico, with NGR rocketing up by 54% year-on-year for Q4, reaching €25.1m. This made it the company’s largest market with revenue hitting €81.7m for FY2023.

Prior to Mexico’s impressive 2023, Codere Online’s home country of Spain was its top market, with Q4 NGR of €20.8m, a 17% increase on 2022’s figure of €17.8m. Spain is now lagging behind Mexico despite NGR growing 26% year-on-year to €75.7m.

ceo aviv sher lauded codere online’s strategy in mexico and spain

For Codere Online chief executive Aviv Sher, the growth in Mexico and Spain shows the operator’s strategy is paying dividends.

“Our strategic focus on Mexico and Spain, where we are seeing a strong return on marketing investment, has proven successful, with significant increases in both our active customer base and spend per customer,” he explained.

“Casino continued to exceed our expectations with a second consecutive quarter contributing 58% of total net gaming revenue in the period.”

Mexico and Spain growth make up for Colombia stagnation

Colombia isn’t quite showing the same rapid growth as Mexico and Spain, with €2.3m for Q4 flat year-on-year. Despite the Q4 stagnation, Codere Online’s Colombia NGR still rose by 8% for the financial year.

The operator’s other markets, including Panama and Buenos Aires in Argentina, reported a 54% NGR increase to €6m. Despite average monthly players for that sector dropping by 14% in Q4, the number still reached €9.2m for the year, a 17% rise.

Net loss was €1m for Q4 2023, down from €17.4m in the same quarter the year prior.

Full-year net loss narrowed from €45.9m in FY2022 to €3.1m, leaving Codere Online with a total cash position of €41m to end 2023.

LatAm opportunity only just emerging for Codere Online

In 2021, Codere Online became the first LatAm-facing igaming operator to list on a US stock exchange. With an already strong presence in LatAm, it looks well-placed to capitalise on the region’s huge potential.

Peru and Chile are both nearing regulation, with the former’s low tax rate making it a particularly attractive proposition for operators such as Codere Online.

The company’s LatAm options are developing. However, in an interview with iGB last December, Sher revealed that Brazil, which is finally expected to have a regulated betting market in 2024, isn’t currently in Codere Online’s short-term plans.

“Our current structure, our current plans, and the way we operate, we are not entering Brazil,” Sher said in the interview. “It’s not a Spanish-speaking country. It’s a different culture, it’s sports-only, and we have huge players advertising for years as they build their brands in the unregulated environment.

“With the current structure that we have, we will not be able to penetrate Brazil and make good investments and give our investors a good deal there.”

Codere Online bullish about 2024 prospects

The company is setting a target of €185m-€200m in NGR for 2024, as well as positive adjusted EBITDA and cash flow.

Sher is excited for Codere Online to keep going on its upwards trajectory in Mexico and Spain, particularly when taking into account its lower marketing spend compared to previous years.

“We were able to grow our active customer base by more than 15% in both markets in the quarter, which we believe is impressive considering the similar level of marketing investment in these countries in 2023 versus the prior year,” he said about the results.

Oscar Iglesias, chief financial officer, added: “In short, we expect to deliver upon our original commitment to investors to be a profitable company in the third year after de-SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) and are more committed than ever to creating meaningful value for our shareholders.”

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