05/11/2017 Updated at 18h38
Despite the fall in sales and revenue, Petrobras recorded a profit of R $ 4,449 billion in the first quarter of 2017, reversing a loss of R $ 1,246 billion in the same period of the previous year.
In the balance sheet released on Thursday (11), the company says its performance is a result of lower oil import costs, increased exports and reduced expenses.
“Without a doubt, it was a good quarter for our company,” Petrobras president Pedro Parente said.
The company’s chief financial officer, Ivan Monteiro, says the price change from $ 34 per barrel in the first quarter of 2016 to $ 54 per barrel was a key component of the result.
Another factor was the greater use of pre-salt oil in Brazilian refineries, for better quality and lower logistics costs. In the first quarter of 2017, 95% of the refined oil by the company was produced in the country.
Selling and administrative expenses, in turn, fell 22%.
According to Monteiro, these factors led the state to have the best Ebitda (indicator that measures cash generation) in history: R $ 25,254 billion.
It was the eighth consecutive quarter that Petrobras had a positive cash flow, that is, it generated more resources than it did. The surplus was R $ 13.4 billion.
With a 5% drop in sales compared to the first quarter of 2016, revenue was 3% lower, from R $ 68,365 billion.
Main problem for the management of the company, net debt closed the quarter at R $ 300,975 billion, down 5% from the R $ 314,120 billion recorded at the end of 2016, mainly due to the appreciation of the real.
In dollars, the drop was 1 percent to $ 95 billion.
The net debt indicator on Ebitda was 3.24 times. In the balance of the previous quarter, the number was 3.54 times.
The state’s business plan stipulated a goal of reaching 2.5 times by 2018.
The company’s oil production reached 2,248 million barrels per day, 9% higher than in the previous quarter.
The company expects to start operations on four new platforms later this year: the P-66, which is already installed in the Lula field in the pre-salt; The Libra long-term test, which is on its way to Brazil; And the platforms P-67 and Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes, which are under construction.
On Wednesday (10), Petrobras announced the approval of its new asset sale plan, which follows recommendations made by the TCU (Brazilian Court of Audit). Among the projects to be sold, the company includes the Pasadena refinery in the United States and Petrobras Africa.
The goal is to raise $ 21 billion by the end of 2018 to reduce high debt.