Atlantia doubles H1 core profit thanks to Abertis' acquisition

MILAN, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Italian infrastructure group Atlantia said its core profit doubled in the first half to 3.55 million euros, boosted by the purchase of Spanish motorway group Abertis.

On a pro-forma basis, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up 4% year-on-year, the group controlled by the Benetton family said on Friday.

Atlantia calculated its pro-forma data for 2018 H1 including Abertis results from Jan. 1.

Revenue including Abertis rose to 5.6 billion euros in the first half, up 3% on a pro-forma basis.

The group, which has been under fire by the government after the deadly collapse of a motorway bridge it operated, said total revenue included 38 million euros of payments for insurance claims.

After the bridge’s disaster, the government has threatened to revoke Atlantia’s motorway concession, which accounts for a third of its core profits.

The group is currently in talks with state-owned railways Ferrovie dello Stato and U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines for a potential investment in troubled airline Alitalia. An involvement in Alitalia could ease tensions with the government, analysts said. (Reporting by Francesca Landini)