March 7, 2013 / 7:36 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Czech Fortuna profit sinks on tax costs

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PRAGUE, March 7 (Reuters) - Czech betting company Fortuna Entertainment Group saw its net profit drop by 7.5 percent in 2012 to 12.3 million euros due to an increase of betting tax in the Czech Republic and some non-cash finance costs, it said on Thursday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expected net profit at 12.7 million euros.

The firm, majority-owned by investment group Penta, said it would pay out all of its 2012 profit in dividend and, in addition, the management would consider a proposal for a dividend pay-out from retained earnings, Fortuna’s Chief Executive Radim Haluza said.

Total amounts staked rose by 14.3 percent to 467.9 million euros, above 453 million seen in the Reuters poll while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 10.6 percent year on year to 22.1 million, just above 21.6 million euros forecast by analysts.

The central European fixed-odds betting provider present in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, said its lottery division, launched in summer 2011, showed a net loss of 4.4 million euros, 38.2 percent narrower than in 2011.

Fortuna market share in the lottery segment has not grown as fast as the company had hoped due to strong competition.

It met its initial target to keep the lottery loss below 5 million euros in 2012, it added. (Reporting by Jana Mlcochova; editing by James Jukwey)

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