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Gas Natural posts annual profit rise on Latin America


Spanish energy group Gas Natural posted Tuesday an 8.8-percent rise in its 2012 net proft owing mainly to higher sales in Latin America and cost-cutting measures.

The company, Spain's biggest gas supplier, said its net profit last year totalled 1.441 billion euros ($1.923 billion), up from 1.325 billion euros in 2011.

Net turnover rose 14.4 percent to 24.904 billion euros while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) -- a key measure of profitability -- rose 9.4 percent to 5.080 billion euros.

The company said its international operations grew by 22.6 percent last year and now represent just over two-fifths, or 43.2 percent, of total consolidated EBITDA compared to 38.5 percent in 2011.

"This growth resulted in a significant increase in gas sales and the development of activity in Latin America," the company said in a statement.