January 30, 2013 / 10:51 PM / in 5 years

Brazil's Fibria posts first profit in six quarters

* Pulp producer reverses losses with $24 mln profit

* Plans to boost investments by 15 percent in 2013

SAO PAULO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Fibria Celulose SA, , the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, posted its first net profit in six quarters on Wednesday because of recovering sales to China.

Fibria booked net income of 48 million reais ($24 million) from a 358 million reais loss a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. The company lost 212 million reais in the third quarter.

The company plans to invest 1.244 billion reais in 2013, a 15 percent increase over last year due to currency effects and a one-time replanting at its Aracruz operations.

Brazil’s currency, the real, ended 2012 nearly 10 percent weaker than it started the year, boosting Fibria’s revenue from exports. Growing demand for pulp has also fueled hopes of a rebound for the sector, but heavy debt loads have slowed the recovery of Fibria and some of its peers.

Fibria’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, rose 93 percent from a year earlier to 753 million reais. EBITDA rose 32 percent from the third quarter on greater sales volumes.

Land sales helped reduce net debt by 18 percent from a year earlier to 7.745 billion reais. Net debt at the end of December equaled 3.3 times EBITDA over the past 12 months, compared with 4.2 times a year before.

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