UPDATE 1-Profits rise at Spain's Abertis as road traffic picks up
* Higher traffic in Spain, France, Chile boosts core profit
* Earnings also helped by recent acquisitions, investments
* Abertis targets more growth from purchases (Adds details, background)
By Julien Toyer
MADRID, April 28 (Reuters) - Spanish toll roads operator Abertis posted a 6 percent rise in first-quarter core profit on Thursday, boosted by solid traffic growth in Spain, France and Chile which offset lower activity and negative currency effects in Brazil.
In Europe Abertis is benefiting from increased commercial and private traffic as the economic recovery takes hold, especially in its domestic market.
Traffic on Spanish motorways was up 11.4 percent in the first three months of 2016, also helped by Easter falling in March this year, while it rose by 6.1 percent in Chile and 3.7 percent in France.
In Brazil, where it operates more than 3,000 kilometres of roads, traffic was down 2.3 percent and Abertis said it had fallen 3 percent to mid-April with commercial traffic dropping by 6.8 percent amid an economic slowdown.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first three months of the year came in at 714 million euros ($810 million), above analysts' expectations of 703 million euros. Continuación...