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VIENNA, April 7 (Reuters) - Austrian gaming technology group Novomatic AG reported a 27 percent fall in 2016 net profit on Friday as acquisitions brought higher staff and rental costs, and also led to writedowns in Spain and Britain.
Family-owned Novomatic, which is considering a stock market listing that could become one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPO) for an Austrian firm, said full-year net profit fell to 154.4 million euros ($164.20 million).
Revenues rose 10 percent to 2.29 billion euros helped by growing demand for its gaming machines, which generated 45 percent of group sales.
Combined group revenue of Novomatic AG and two Swiss sister holding companies, ACE Casino Holding AG and Gryphon Invest AG, increased to 4.4 billion euros from 3.93 billion euros, it said without providing other combined earnings figures.
Novomatic, which also operates casinos and a network of sport betting shops worldwide, last year bought several companies in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.
It is in the process of taking over a majority in Australian group Ainsworth Game Technology.
The Australian deal is expected to close in the third quarter 2017 at the earliest, it said on Friday.
Novomatic expects its 2017 revenue to increase major markets including Britain, Spain and Italy, as well as in Romania and Croatia.
The group did not provide outlooks for its key market Germany and its home market Austria. Some gaming operations could be affected by German regulatory changes and pending court decisions in Austria related to the business.
The market environment for online gambling will be challenging throughout 2017 and increased competition will lead to lower growth rates in this business area, Novomatic said.
$1 = 0.9403 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Edmund Blair