Brazilian builder Brookfield posts fifth straight quarterly loss

SAO PAULO, April 11 Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:54am EDT

SAO PAULO, April 11 (Reuters) - Brazilian homebuilder Brookfield Incorporações SA posted a fifth straight quarterly loss, missing analyst estimates by a wide margin, as the troubled homebuilder continued to struggle with sales cancellations and asset impairments in the fourth quarter.

The result leaves Brookfield behind its peers as it struggles to return to profitability following an overly aggressive expansion plan that led to hefty cost overruns and project delays.

The company booked a net loss of 424.97 million reais ($193 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with a revised shortfall of 29.59 million reais a year earlier, according to a securities filing late on Thursday.

Three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 23.7 million reais loss in the period, on average, while one analyst had forecast a 3 million reais profit.

Net revenue tumbled 30 percent to 570.9 million reais on a year-on-year basis after sales suffered. Inflation and more expensive property development continued to weigh on the company, with costs related to real estate development and sales climbing 7.5 percent to 644.75 million reais in the quarter from the same period a year earlier.

Net debt edged up to 146.8 percent of shareholder equity in the fourth quarter, compared with 97.7 percent in the year-earlier period. Cash holdings dropped 23 percent in the same period.

Management plans to discuss fourth-quarter earnings in a conference call with analysts later on Friday.

Brookfield posted losses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 385.76 million reais, compared with an average estimate of a gain of 104 million reais in the Reuters survey. The gauge is known as EBITDA and measures the ability of a company to generate profits from its operations.

In February Brookfield announced that its controlling shareholder, Brookfield Brasil Participações, plans to buy out minority shareholders and delist the company from the BM&FBovespa stock exchange. The company will hold a shareholders meeting on April 14 to discuss the proposal.

Brookfield shares are down about 43 percent over the past 12 months.

($1 = 2.20 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal)

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