Latam Airlines 2012 net profit dives 96.6 pct on merger, taxes

SANTIAGO, March 19 Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:11pm EDT

SANTIAGO, March 19 (Reuters) - Newly-merged Latam Airlines Group SA's net profit dropped 96.6 percent in 2012 to $10.96 million on the cost of the Chilean airline LAN's takeover of Brazil's TAM and higher taxes in Chile, the company said late on Tuesday.

The largest carrier in Latin America was seen posting a $34.7 million net profit for all of 2012, according to a Reuters poll.

Latam Airlines has domestic operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.