March 13, 2014 / 6:56 PM / 4 years ago

GTECH may bid for Turkey lottery license, sees 2014 sales growth

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian gaming group GTECH GTCH.MI will decide in April whether to bid for a license to operate Turkey’s national lottery, Chief Executive Marco Sala said on Thursday.

Turkey’s privatization authority has put on the block a 10-year license to operate local lottery company Milli Piyango.

“In Turkey there is a quite attractive tender for lottery outsourcing, we are evaluating the submission of an offer, we will take a decision in April,” Sala said during a conference call, without giving any financial detail.

The Turkey lottery firm posted a profit of around 140 million euros in 2012.

Sala was speaking after the group reported a 0.4 percent fall in 2013 sales to 3.06 billion euros, below guidance of 3.2-3.3 billion euros, due to negative currency effects. Revenues from services also decreased compared with 2012.

The group said was targeting higher revenues of 3.15-3.25 billion euros this year.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 0.5 percent year-on-year to 1.037 billion euros ($1.44 billion) in 2013, including a one-off charge of 30 million euros as a result of a settlement with Italy’s Tax Agency.

The company had targeted core earnings between 1.05-1.07 billion euros in 2013.

    It proposed a 2013 dividend of 0.75 euros per share, up from 0.73 euros a year earlier.

    The group said it would buy from Italian bank UniCredit (CRDI.MI) a 12.5 percent stake in scratch-and-win business Lotterie Nazionali for 72 million euros.

    The transaction, to be completed by the end of June, will allow GTECH to increase its stake in Lotterie Nazionali to 64 percent from 51.5 percent now.

    ($1 = 0.7192 Euros)

    Reporting by Francesca Landini and Claudia Cristoferi, editing by Stephen Jewkes and Jane Merriman

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