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In Brazil Scandal-hit Petrobras posts new losses for 2017

However, the result showed a major shift from 2016, when Petrobras posted losses of 14.8 billion reais.

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Petrobras has posted net losses of 446 million reais ($139.7 million) in 2017 -- a sharp improvement on the previous year play

Petrobras has posted net losses of 446 million reais ($139.7 million) in 2017 -- a sharp improvement on the previous year

(AFP)

Brazil's troubled national oil company Petrobras on Thursday posted net losses of 446 million reais ($139.7 million) for 2017, reflecting continued fallout from the "Car Wash" corruption scandal, but sharply improving on the previous year.

This was the fourth consecutive year of losses for one of Brazil's most iconic companies, hit hard by falling world crude prices and a mammoth corruption scandal over the last four years. Fourth quarter 2017 losses were 5.5 billion reais.

However, the result showed a major shift from 2016, when Petrobras posted losses of 14.8 billion reais.

This year, Petrobras said, the company could have returned to profit but for extraordinary expenses, including a 11.2 billion reais payout to settle a class action lawsuit in New York filed by shareholders in the wake of the graft scandal.

The other big cost was 10.4 billion reais to regularize debts to Brazil's government.

Without that, Petrobras would have seen profits of seven billion reais ($2.2 billion), it said.

"We are on a trajectory that is consistent with our recuperation," Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente said.

The state-controlled company has an outsized presence in Brazil, where it not only dominates the extraction of oil and gas, but is a prominent sponsor for everything from orchestras to sports programs.

Four years ago, federal investigators uncovered a scheme in which government ministers, party leaders, major contractors and Petrobras executives were colluding to embezzle from the company.

The scandal, which continues to develop, has seen scores of leading political and business figures sent to jail or prosecuted by the so-called Car Wash investigation team.

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