September 14, 2017 / 6:51 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-GVC sees full-year earnings 'comfortably ahead' of estimates after solid H1

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Sept 14 (Reuters) - Online gambling firm GVC Holdings , which has expanded rapidly through a series of acquisitions, said it expects core annual earnings to top market estimates after first-half gaming revenue rose.

The group, which also operates websites such as Foxy Bingo and Sportingbet, said it expects clean EBITDA — core earnings before exceptional items and share-based payments — for the current year to be “comfortably ahead” of an analysts’ consensus of 255.5 million euros ($303.6 million).

Revenue for the six months to June 30 rose to 472.8 million euros on net gaming revenue which rose 10 percent.

Revenue from sports brands, made up of websites such as bwin and Sportingbet, rose 9 percent to 194.2 million euros with wagers up 4 percent on an underlying basis.

Strong trading has continued into third quarter and net gaming revenue for the period to Sept 10 was up 12 percent, the company said.

GVC, now valued at about 2.3 billion pounds ($3 billion), has grown quickly under Chief Executive Kenny Alexander, who has built up the business through acquisitions.

In 2015, the then AIM-listed GVC bought Foxy owner Bwin.Party in a 1.1 billion pound deal to set off a round of dealmaking among London-listed gambling companies.

$1 = 0.8415 euros Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely; editing by Jason Neely

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