May 12, 2017 / 2:28 PM / 2 months ago

Atlantia core profit rises 9 percent in first quarter

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italian motorway and airport operator Atlantia (ATL.MI) said its core earnings rose 9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, driven by its airport business which since January includes the airport of Nice and Cote d'Azur.

The Rome-based company is in talks with Spain's Abertis (ABE.MC) over a potential takeover and could soon announce a bid, sources have said.

Earnings before interests, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at 785 million euros ($857 million) for the first three months of the year.

Traffic on the group's domestic motorway network was up 2.9 percent as of May 7, excluding calendar effects. The number of passengers at Rome's airports, which are operated by the group's Aeroporti di Roma unit, was up 2.4 percent in the same period.

Reporting by Francesca Landini and Stefano Bernabei, editing by Valentina Za

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