* Latin America growth to offset weaker Spain, France
* 9-month EBITDA 1.9 bln euros, meets forecast
* Spanish traffic seen down 10 pct in 2012 - CEO
(Adds profit estimate, detail)
By Tomás Cobos
MADRID, Oct 31 Spanish toll road company Abertis
Infraestructuras said on Wednesday it expected traffic
growth in Latin America to help drive a 5 percent increase in
full-year net profit this year.
Abertis reported a 5.6 percent rise in nine-month recurring
net profit to 536 million euros ($696 million) and unchanged
core profit as traffic declines in Spain and France chipped away
"We anticipate stability at the revenues and EBITDA
(earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation)
level while net profit should continue to show mid single-digit
increases on a recurrent basis," Chief Financial Officer Jose
Aljaro told a conference call.
Abertis, which also has telecommunications and airport
assets, said on Wednesday that EBITDA was 1.9 billion euros
($2.5 billion) in the nine months to September, in line with the
average forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
"We've seen traffic declines stabilise since summer but we
expect Spanish traffic to fall about 10 percent in 2012, which
is an about 30 percent decline since the start of the crisis,"
Abertis Chief Executive Francisco Reynes said in a statement.
Abertis, which expects to close a deal to buy construction
firm OHL's Brazilian assets this month, said half of
its core profit is now generated outside Spain.
Spain is battling its second recession in three years with a
quarter of the country's workforce unemployed. Consumer spending
has plummeted over the last two years, with data on Monday
showing an 11 percent fall in retail sales in September.
Net profit at the cash-rich motorway company grew 69 percent
to 1.0 billion euros, boosted by capital gains from the sale of
stakes in satellite operator Eutelsat and Portuguese peer Brisa
earlier this year.
($1 = 0.7705 euros)
(Additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Writing by Clare Kane;
Editing by David Cowell)