June 3, 2020 / 12:39 PM / a month ago

Brazil's Braskem posts quarterly loss of $777 mln, amid forex swings, expenses

SAO PAULO, June 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian petrochemical firm Braskem SA reported on Wednesday a net loss of $777 million in the first quarter compared with a profit of $243 million a year ago, as foreign exchange oscillations led to higher financial expenses.

The company said financial expenses grew to $1.332 billion in the quarter ended March 31 from $243 million a year ago, given the depreciation of the Brazilian real and the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar.

In April, Braskem revised its capital expenditure forecast in 2020 to $721 million from around $600 million, as part of its strategy to preserve cash.

Its operating performance measured by recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 34% compared with the first-quarter of 2019 to $294 million, excluding extraordinary expenses related to the geological disaster in Brazil’s Northeastern state of Alagoas.

Braskem’s quarterly net sales revenue fell 17% to $2.846 billion, while cost of goods sold declined by 14% to $2.581 billion.

The petrochemical company ended March 2020 with a net debt/EBITDA ratio in U.S. dollars of 5.84 compared with 4.71 at the end of 2019 and 2.09 in March 2019.

$1 = 5.2004 reais Reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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