November 6, 2018 / 2:44 PM / 13 days ago

Petrobras Distribuidora profit soars, boosted by debt settlement

SAO PAULO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Brazil’s leading fuel distribution company Petrobras Distribuidora SA reported a 174 percent rise in net profit in the third quarter, a filing showed late on Monday, boosted by tax and debt settlements.

Petrobras Distribuidora, a unit of state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, posted net profit of 1.078 billion reais ($288.08 million) last quarter after booking 463 million reais in debt payments from state-run electric utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA. The company also said a settlement related to a 1.3 billion reais tax dispute with the state of Mato Grosso positively impacted its results.

Shares of Petrobras Distribuidora fell 1.4 percent to 22.27 reais in mid-morning trading as the company’s operating performance was weaker than some analysts had expected.

According to the statement, the company’s fuel sales by volume fell 3 percent to 10.966 million cubic meters last quarter due to Brazil’s economic slump. However, net revenues rose 21 percent to 26.455 billion reais on an increase in the average price of fuel, Petrobras Distribuidora said.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating profit known as EBITDA, fell 40 percent to 631 million reais as the effects of a truckers’ strike in May and slow economic growth weighed on its performance, Petrobras Distribuidora said.

Brazil’s weak economy has affected the business overall and the market for large fuel consumers in particular, the company said.

The truckers’ strike earlier this year led to a loss of diesel inventory amounting to 200 million reais in the second quarter and 38 million reais in the following one, Petrobras Distribuidora said. ($1 = 3.7420 reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Paul Simao)

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