UPDATE 1-Vinci sees steady year ahead after "robust" 2012

Tue Feb 5, 2013 2:02pm EST

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* Sees flat business in 2013

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PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuters) - French group Vinci warned of a flat year for its construction and concessions businesses after reporting a "robust performance" in 2012 when its net profit edged up despite the difficult economic climate in Europe.

The company said rose net profits rose 0.7 percent to 1.9 billion euros ($2.6 billion) last year on a 4.5 percent rise in revenue to 38.6 billion, and held the dividend payout at 1.77 euros a share following a 6 percent increase last year.

The group operates in two divisions: the construction and road building business, which generates around 85 percent of sales, and its concessions business where it develops and operates public infrastructure such as motorways, car parks, stadiums and airports.

The order book for construction and road building at the end of 2012 was up 2 percent on a year ago at 31.3 billion euros.

But Vinci cautioned that although the business has started the year with a healthy order book, order intake could slow as the group plans to focus on margins rather than volume when bidding for new projects this year.

The motorway concessions in France, could also see a drop in traffic similar to 2012, when it declined 1.7 percent, Vinci added.

"Against this backdrop, the group is expecting business to be flat in 2013, before taking ANA or any other new acquisitions into account," Vinci said in a statement.

In December Vinci snapped up Portuguese airports operator ANA with a 3.08 billion-euro bid.

Vinci's share price which is down 1 percent on a year ago, closed up 1 percent at 36.61 euros on Tuesday before the release of the results. ($1=0.7392 euros) (Reporting by Elena Berton; Editing by James Regan and Greg Mahlich)

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