MADRID Spanish toll road company Abertis Infraestructuras (ABE.MC) posted unchanged nine-months core profit as traffic growth in Latin America was offset by declines in Spain and France.
Abertis said on Wednesday that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (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 stabilize 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 said half of its core profit is now generated outside Spain, which is battling its second recession in three years with a quarter of the country's workforce unemployed.
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 BRI.LS earlier this year.
($1 = 0.7705 euros)
(Reporting By Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Erica Billingham)