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Petrobras’ Net Profit Rises Thirty-Fold On Higher Oil Prices

Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) benefited from the rising oil prices and booked a thirty-fold yearly jump in its second-quarter net income, which also beat analyst expectations.

Petrobras said on Friday that its Q2 net income surged to US$2.68 billion (10.072 billion Brazilian reais) from US$84 million (316 million reais) in the second quarter of 2017, helped by rising Brent prices, which resulted in higher margins in oil exports and oil product sales in Brazil. Other factors that contributed to the thirty-fold profit increase included the depreciation of the Brazilian currency, lower interest expenses due to debt reduction, and lower general and administrative expenses and equipment idleness.

The profit jump was also well ahead of analyst estimates for US$1.505 billion in Q2.

For Q1 2018, Petrobras had posted what was then its highest quarterly profit since the beginning of 2013 on the back of higher oil prices and proceeds from asset sales.

For the first half of 2018, Petrobras also saw soaring profits, at US$4.54 billion (17.033 billion reais), the net income was 257 percent higher compared to the first half of 2017, and the best first-half performance since 2011.

Related: Falling Rig Count Supports Oil Prices

The heavily indebted company also cut more of its debt in the first half of 2018. Petrobras’s net debt stood at US$73.662 billion at end-June, down by 13 percent compared to the end of December last year.

The results come just two months after Petrobras chief executive Pedro Parente, who helped turn around the company after the huge corruption scandal, resigned in early June. The resignation came after nationwide trucker strikes forced the government to cut diesel prices and after oil workers demanded that Brazil end the one-year-old policy to allow fuel prices to be dictated by the market and international crude oil benchmarks.

Following the Q2 and H1 results release, Petrobras shares in New York were soaring by 6.75 percent at 10:57 a.m. EDT on Friday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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