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·  July 30th, 2009 , Barcelona

Sector and geographic diversification key to a positive first half for abertis

The Group's growth model, coupled with a strict cost-control policy, absorb the impact of the economic slowdown and underpin growth in revenues, EBITDA and net profit. Toll road traffic tended to stabilise in the second quarter

  •  Revenues: €1,842Mn (+3.7%).
  • EBITDA: €1,141Mn (+2.7%).
  • Net cash flow: €700Mn (+2.9%).
  • Net Profit: €332Mn (+0.6%).
  • Investments: €919Mn.

 50% of revenues and 46% of EBITDA come from out of Spain and 26% of revenues from diversification.

abertis invested over €900Mn in 1H09 in expansion capex (mainly Itínere’s assets in Chile and Spain and the rollout of TDT), furthering its strategy of diversifying its sector and geographic mixes and consolidating and strengthening its positions in existing shareholdings.

abertis’ debt structure remains stable and solid, with the average cost of debt falling 0.6%.

  • 92 % of total debt is long term; 72% of this is at fixed rates or fixed through hedging and 56% is non-recourse. abertis’ healthy cash flow generation and the boost to the scope of consolidation have enabled the company to maintain the sector’s highest corporate credit rating (A-).

Traffic figures for abertis' toll road network showed a decline of 4% through 30 June, a considerable improvement on the 8.8% fall in 1Q09. Traffic on the French toll roads managed by sanef (half of abertis’ total network) was positive in May and June.

Toll road revenues in 1H09 amounted to €1,360Mn (+2%).

  • Average daily traffic (ADT) on Sanef’s network through June was 22,733 vehicles (-1.8%). In South America (Chile and Argentina), ADT was 45,834 vehicles (-0.9%).
  • In Spain, where traffic had fallen most, there was also an ease in the pace of decline. ADT in Spain to 30 June was 22,707 (-9.8% vs. ‑12.4% in 4Q08 and -17.1% in 1Q09).

In the diversified businesses, the positive performance of the telecommunications business boosted the Group’s growth, while the car parks business remained stable.

  • abertis telecom had revenues of €253Mn (+26.6%). This growth largely reflects the addition of Hispasat to the consolidation scope in the second half of 2008, and the rollout of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), which now covers 95% of the population (over 44 million people). The company has also won new contracts, including one for Spain's Maritime Rescue Service and others to supply new services.
  • The satellite sector continued to perform well. Eutelsat, consolidated using the equity method, contributed €24Mn in the first half of the year, while Hispasat, consolidated using proportionate consolidation, contributed €12Mn. In all, the satellite business added a net €16Mn (including the financing costs of the acquisitions) to the profits of abertis.
  • Revenues at abertis airports totalled €136Mn (-6.2%). The inclusion of Desarrollo de Concesiones Aeroportuarias (dca) –consolidated from 31 March 2008– was not enough to offset lower activity levels at British operator tbi, where passenger traffic fell 10% (to 10.6 million), and the impact of the pound’s (13%) depreciation against the euro.
  • saba, abertis' car parks division, made a positive contribution in 1H09 as a result of changes in the consolidation scope. Revenues were €71Mn (+8.7%), with 27 million vehicles in rotation (+5.8%), a 2.3% increase in the number of pass holders and 21% more spaces.
  • In the logistics parks business, constructed area grew 9.2% compared with the first quarter (to more than 480,917 square metres); while abertis logística's business tapered off due to lower occupancy rates. Revenues were down by 47.1% at €15Mn, although comparisons with 2008 are skewed as last year’s figures included gains from the sale of the stake in Port Aventura. The warehouse and office occupancy rate was 78.2%.

Abertis Infraestructuras’s board of directors has approved the appointment of Francisco Reynés as a new member of the Executive Committee in place of Manuel Raventós.

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