Monday, August 11, 2014

Brazil: Petrobras' Net Income Plunges 20% in Second Quarter

According to The Latin American Tribune, Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras posted net income of 4.96 billion reais (some $2.17 billion) in the second quarter, down 20% from the same period of 2013.

Petrobras also said in a statement that net income fell 8% during the first quarter, when the company registered its worst result in seven years.

Net income for the year’s first half was down 25% from 2013.

COMMENT: The company attributed the quarterly result, among other reasons, to the “impact of operating expenses,” including a voluntary early-retirement program that cost 2.38 billion reais (some $1.04 billion), and lower earnings on asset sales.

Petrobras also blamed debt-interest payments that amounted to 800 million reais (some $350.1 million).

The company’s refining division, meanwhile, also weighed on its financial results, posting a 3.88 billion reais ($1.7 billion) loss in the second quarter, up 54.8% from the same period of 2013.

The government forces Petrobras to sell the gasoline and diesel it imports at below cost on the domestic market as part of a bid to keep inflation in check. It is that fuel subsidy that has caused the company’s debt to soar.