August 30, 2017 / 3:16 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Austrian IPO candidate Novomatic reports earnings drop

(Adds detail on IPO timing)

VIENNA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Austrian gaming technology group Novomatic AG reported a 29 percent fall in first-half net profit, citing tax hikes in Italy and Austria and preparations for regulatory changes next year on its gaming devices in Germany.

Family-owned Novomatic, which is considering a stock market listing that could be one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPO) by an Austrian firm, said net profit fell to 56.3 million euros ($67 mln) in the six months through June.

Novomatic, which makes slot machines and other gambling equipment and technology and also runs gambling halls, could be valued at up to 6 billion euros in a stock market listing.

The company is expected to officially announce its plans in September for an initial public offering in Vienna and Frankfurt, people close to the matter said this week.

Novomatic declined to comment on the timing of its planned listing and gave no earnings outlook.

It said its sales rose 11 percent in the first half from a year earlier to 1.2 billion euros, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were 3 percent higher at 309 million euros.

($1 = 0.8393 euros)

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Susan Fenton

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