March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Fortuna Entertainment Group NV, a betting company in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said its profit for 2011 declined 23.3 percent as it invested in a new lottery format.
Net income for the year fell to 13.3 million euros from 17.4 million euros a year earlier, the Amsterdam-registered company said today in a statement released on the Warsaw stock exchange. Amounts staked rose 6.2 percent to 409 million euros.
The betting market proved “resilient” against any uncertainties and developed according to expectations, the head of Fortuna’s supervisory board, Jozef Janov, said in the statement. In sports betting, the company kept sales margins and its financial measures grew, Janov said.
Fortuna, which started a lottery project in July last year, has been battling for market share with its biggest rival Sazka AS, a former state lottery monopoly now run by financial groups PPF AS and KKCG.
“All in all, results were slightly below on the net profit level compared with market consensus,” Ceska Sporitelna AS’ analyst Vaclav Kminek wrote in a note to clients today. The “main” difference compared to our estimates is from “higher” loss in the lottery segment, Kminek wrote. Kminek recommends investors to “accumulate” shares.
Fortuna fell 2.85 koruna, or 2.8 percent, to 100.3 as of 9:54 a.m. in Prague trading.
The net income was hurt by a loss of 7 million euros linked with a start of the lottery unit, the company said in the statement. The lottery business will begin to show a return in the first half of 2013, the company said.
Fortuna plans to invest more into online betting in 2012 and mobile phone applications and sees the 2012 Euro soccer championship as helping it consolidate its market in Poland.
The bookmaker will continue to pursue a dividend policy of 70 percent to 100 percent of consolidated net income and will be releasing information about the planned level of dividend in the coming weeks, it said.
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