The 2018 Petrobras results were “unquestionably the best in many years,” said the new president of the Rio de Janeiro-based company, Roberto Castello Branco (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA)
Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras said on Wednesday it registered its first profit in five years, making 25.8 billion reais ($7.058 billion) in 2018.
Adjusted profit — before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization — was a record 114.9 billion reais, Petrobras said in a statement.
“The 2018 Petrobras results were unquestionably the best in many years,” said the company’s new president, Roberto Castello Branco, who was appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro after he assumed office in January.
Petrobras had already seen something of a recovery in 2017, when losses were down to 446 million reais, a massive reduction on the previous three years, in which the company lost a combined 70 billion reais.
“The solid result reflects factors such as better margins in the sale of derivatives in Brazil and in crude exports, alongside the increase in the price of the Brent barrel and the appreciation of the dollar,” said the Petrobras statement.
The company’s debt dropped 18 percent to $69.4 billion.
The 2018 results came despite the payment of $853 million in damages in the third quarter to settle a collective claim from the United States related to the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history.
Large construction companies had paid bribes to politicians to secure contracts with Petrobras, which knowingly overpaid on those deals.
The Car Wash investigation resulted in the impeachment of then-president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, while her fellow leftist predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was jailed for accepting a bribe.
Far right Bolsonaro campaigned on a hard line against corruption and crime and his victory in October’s election was in part attributed to the Car Wash investigation.
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