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UPDATE 1-Perform buys Dutch soccer site, profit doubles

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Digital sports rights group Perform bought a Dutch soccer website on Tuesday, continuing a trend of bolt-on deals that helped the company to double annual profit in 2012.

Perform said on Tuesday it was paying an initial 2 million euros ($2.6 million) for Voetbalzone.nl, with an additional payment of up to 10.5 million euros to be made depending on performance over the next three years.

Larger acquisitions and interest in major sports events like the Olympics and euro 2012 soccer drove a doubling of adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to 37.5 million pounds in the year to end-December, in line with forecasts, Perform reported.

The company has rights contracts for more than 200 sports leagues, tournaments and events which it packages and sells to business customers and consumers around the globe.

Shares in the company have risen to 415 pence apiece after floating at 260 pence in April 2011, giving it a market value of almost one billion pounds ($1.5 billion).

Perform bought Running Ball, which provides sporting data to the betting industry, for 120 million euros last May and paid 14.5 million pounds for a majority stake in a Turkish sports website operator.

The company faces an important round of licence renewals later this year for its "Watch & Bet" service which provides live content to 40 bookmakers.

Joint CEO Oliver Slipper struck a positive tone for 2013.

"We have significant visibility over full year revenues, with in excess of 130 million pounds already contracted, and remain confident that we will deliver full year revenue and EBITDA in line with the board's expectations," he said in a statement.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130305/update-1-perform-buys-dutch-soccer-site-profit-doubles