Braskem Q4 loss narrows as Brazilian plastic demand recovers

03 March 2010 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO (ICIS news)--Brazil’s petrochemicals major Braskem lost Brazilian reais (R) 893m ($501.3m) in the 2009 fourth quarter, an improvement from a R2.14bn loss in the year-earlier period resulting from a recovery in domestic industries related to plastic consumption, the company said on Wednesday.  

The loss largely owed to R638m spent on the renegotiation of tax debts, Braskem said.

Fourth-quarter net revenue was at R4.3bn, roughly flat with the R4.3bn reported in the year-ago period. Revenue increased slightly from R4.0bn in the third quarter, as polyethylene (PE) sales increased by 3% sequentially and 25% year over year, the company said.

The PE sales increase was driven by higher demand from the packaging, industrial films, injection, extrusion and distribution segments, Braskem said.

For 2009 as a whole, Braskem had a R917m profit, compared with a R2.5bn loss the year before.

Despite the impact of the tax debts, a 29% increase in ethylene and propylene sales in 2009 combined a stronger Brazilian currency contributed to the earnings recovery, Braskem said.

Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in 2009 were at R614m, up 6% year over year, Braskem said.  

In 2009 as a whole, EBITDA was at R2.5bn, roughly unchanged from the year before.

($1 = R1.78)

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By: Hellen Berger
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