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Brazil telecoms firm Oi's profit soars as interest expenses shrink – Reuters

Brazil telecoms firm Oi's profit soars as interest expenses shrink – Reuters

SAO PAULO, May 13 (Reuters) – Brazilian telecommunications firm Oi SA reported a quarterly net profit of 679 million reais ($170 million), 20 times of what it did a year earlier, as interest expenses fell sharply.

Oi said the reduction in financial expenses reflected the agreement with creditors in an in-court reorganisation of the company.

A debt for equity swap and a new capital injection were approved last year. The capital raise was completed in January.

In a securities filing late on Monday, Brazil’s largest fixed-line operator said its net revenue fell 9.5% year-on-year to 5.1 billion reais.

Recurring Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 3.5% in the first quarter to 1.6 billion reais. Including one-time items, EBITDA rose 42% to 2.2 billion reais.

Oi’s total debt at the end of March stood at 16.3 billion reais, 0.5% lower than that at the end of 2018.

The company kept the same level of capital expenditure in the first quarter relative to the last quarter of 2018, at 1.7 billion reais. Oi seeks to expand its high-speed broadband to compete more effectively with the local units of Telefonica SA and Telecom Italia SpA .

In June 2016, Oi filed for Latin America’s largest-ever bankruptcy protection proceeding, to restructure a debt of approximately 65 billion reais ($16.26 billion). ($1 = 3.9928 reais) (Reporting by Gabriela Mello and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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