Lottomatica, the Italian lottery group, has reported a 59 per cent increase in earnings for the first half of 2008, as sales rose across the company's sports betting, gaming solutions and scratch card operations.

Net profits for the Milan-listed group rose to €78m from €49m in the first half of 2007, while sales rose by 11 per cent to €928m.

Results benefited from the recent acquisition of Atronic in the US, which was completed in the first half by its GTECH Corporation unit.