February 26, 2019 / 12:56 PM / 9 months ago

Brazil's Petrobras Distribuidora gets profit boost from Eletrobras privatizations

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Petrobras Distribuidora SA, the distribution unit of Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, posted a major boost in quarterly net profit on Tuesday thanks to the effective payment of debts it was owed.

In a securities filing, the firm posted a fourth-quarter net profit of 1.605 billion reais ($427 million), up some 202.3 percent from the same period a year before and well above the mean estimate of 613 million reais calculated by Refinitiv.

In the filing, the firm, which went public in December 2017, said that much of the net profit boost could be attributed to the effective payments of debts that it was owed via the privatization of Centrais Eletricas de Rondonia, Boa Vista Energia and Eletroacre.

Those three firms were distribution units of state-run electricity firm Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras. As part of the sale, the buyers were required to settle outstanding debts the firms owed to Petrobras Distribuidora.

When stripped of non-recurring items, the firm’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, fell 26.8 percent from the same period last year to 646 million reais.

That was below the Refinitiv estimate of 722 million reais.

($1 = 3.76 reais)

Reporting by Gram Slattery Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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