UPDATE 2-Asur will not bid for Brazil airport concessions

Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:08am EDT

* Brazil not seen offering attractive return

* CEO says unaware of Chico Pardo rumored stock sale (Adds comments on holder sale, need of routes, Mexicana impact, updates stock)

MEXICO CITY, July 26 (Reuters) - Mexican airport operator Asur said it will likely not bid for airport concessions in Brazil as Chief Executive Adolfo Castro cited weak returns on those ventures during a conference call on Tuesday.

Asur, or Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, said earlier this year it would be interested in building a new airport in the Brazilian northeast beach resort of Natal.

The company, which operates nine airports in Mexico, including one in the popular resort of Cancun, on Monday reported a 12 percent rise in second-quarter profit, helped by a pick-up in passenger numbers.

Asur, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte (OMAB.MX) and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (PAC.N) (GAPB.MX), were hit by the demise of Mexicana, one of the country's largest airlines. Mexicana stopped flying in August 2010 because of financial troubles.

Castro said the Chicago and Los Angeles routes were among those hurt the most by the Mexicana meltdown, but that Asur was in talks with Mexico's No. 1 carrier AeroMexico (AEROMEX.MX) to bring them back and recover passengers.

"Some ethnic traffic does not like to travel in U.S. carriers," he said.

Asked about the rumored sale of an Asur stake by top investor Fernando Chico Pardo, Castro said he was not aware of any such transaction.

Asur shares (ASURB.MX) added 1.04 percent to 68.91 pesos Tuesday morning while its New York-traded stock (ASR.N) rose 1.42 percent to $59.32. (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)