SAO PAULO, March 20 Profit at Cetip SA Mercados Organizados, Brazil's largest securities clearing house, edged higher in the fourth quarter of 2013, barely missing analyst expectations as a surge in marketing costs offset rising revenue.
The São Paulo-based company earned 96 million reais ($41.4 million) in net income in the quarter, up 2.8 percent from 93.46 million reais in the prior three months, according to a securities filing on Thursday. Profit was expected at 98 million reais, according to the consensus forecast of four analysts in a Reuters poll.
Management will discuss results with investors at a conference call on Friday.
Revenue came in at 242.3 million reais, up 5.3 percent from the third quarter, the filing said. Analysts at the poll had forecast revenue at 239 million reais in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31.
Sales, general and administrative expenses, however, jumped by 68 percent in the quarter, compared with the poll's estimate of 8.8 percent growth for the period, due to increased spending on marketing. Cetip also saw a 6.5 percent increase in staff costs from the previous quarter.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and stock option expenses, a gauge of operational profitability known as adjusted EBITDA, was 166.2 million reais.
EBITDA was expected at 167 million reais in the poll.
($1 = 2.32 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)