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LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Bwin.Party, the online gambling firm at the centre of a bidding war between rivals 888 and GVC Holdings, posted a 2 percent rise in first-half earnings on Friday.
Bwin, up for sale since last year, accepted a 900 million pound ($1.39 billion) cash and stock offer from 888 in July but on Thursday asked bid rival GVC to table its best offer after key issues in its latest 1.03 billion pound proposal on Aug. 7 were addressed.
Bwin said on Friday cost savings had helped lift adjusted core earnings for the six months to June 30 to 47.3 million euros, slightly ahead of analyst forecasts of 45.4 million euros, adding it remained confident on its full-year outlook.
888, which like Bwin runs casino, poker, bingo and sportsbook offerings, also posted first-half results on Friday, which showed the adverse impact of a new UK online tax levy.
earnings for the six months to June 30 fell 17 percent on a year ago to $40.9 million, hurt by tax charges of $19.5 million in the period. The firm said current trading had been solid and
reiterated its full-year outlook.
Shares in Bwin closed at 115.3 pence on Friday, up 43 percent on a year ago. 888's shares closed at 161.50p, up 26 percent on a year ago. ($1 = 0.6480 pounds) (Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Kate Holton)
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