Cirsa is completely focused on gaming (machines). This company was founded in Barcelona in 1978 by Manuel Lao Hernández. Today, according to the website, the company employs more than 12000 people, owns 200 subsidiaries and is present in more than 70 countries.
The son of the founder — Manuel Lao Gorina is still dedicated to the company as vice-president.
The current business is divided in four divisions: Slots, Casinos, Bingos and the production of game-machines. The first one (slots)make up about 47% of the sales and contribute 45% to the earnings (“ebitda”), the second largest division is dedicated to bingo, which attributes 23% of the sales and 12% to the earnings. Casinos however show the highest growth-rate it is also the most profitable.
Another division of more recent origin is dedicated to interactive and online games. The casino business of Cirsa started with a takeover of the emblematic casino in Marbella in 1985.
Besides being present in Spain which comprises 69% of the business, the company is present in Italy (12%), Argentina (6%) and other South American countries. The first casino there was opened in 1990 in the Dominical Republic.
According to the current president, Joaquin Agut who was chosen in 2006 (previous CEO of Terra and Endemol), Argentina will open one of the largest casinos in 2009. On the internet however there are many stories about a casino-ship that is being closed by law; the casino business is both profitable and risky … not in the last place because it is facing a negative image of money laundering.
The company has doubled in revenue over five years, from 600 million euros (in 1994) to 1200 million euros in 2001. The years 2001 and 2002 were problematic and after a new strong year the last thee years the revenues show a more moderate growth (1566, 1657 and 1700 million of euros for 2005 to 2007)
This company profile is also a profile of continuous change. It all started with the own production of gaming machines, which is now the fourth business division with the lowest growth-rate. The question will be whether the production of game-machines will continue to be part of the company. To date, 45% of game-machine sales in Spain originate from Cirsa.
On the website (1) there is a special section dedicated to investors, but it is protected (only institutional investors are granted access). On the internet there is information about a delayed IPO’s in 1999 and 2000, but what happened afterwards remains unclear… The stocks are not traded in Madrid, but there seems to be bonds of the company traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The annual report too is only for institutional investors. That this company is not publicly listed is a real pity. Imagine a company dedicated to games and speculation, shouldn’t it at least offer the possibility to speculate in the stock of the company?
(1) – http://www.cirsa.com