Brazilian meat processor BRF posts $115 million fourth quarter loss

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazil’s BRF posted a 601 million real ($114.7 mln) net loss in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, significantly above an expected loss of 130.62 million reais forecast by analysts.

The poultry and pork processor said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating income known as EBITDA, landed at 1.03 billion reais, slightly below analyst estimates of 1.191 billion reais.

The result marked the fourth consecutive quarterly loss for the company, which is Brazil’s biggest chicken exporter.

The 601 million net loss does not factor in the accounting effects of hyperinflation in Turkey, which management said would be positive, nor the one-off impact of a leniency agreement the company signed last year to settle graft accusations, which would be negative.

All in, the company would have recorded a loss of 956 million reais in the fourth quarter, the statement said.

The company also had sales volume growth of 1.9% in the fourth quarter, which is traditionally a strong one due to the holiday season, in addition to a 60% increase in operating cash flow, according to financial statements.

($1 = 5.2402 reais)

(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Stephen Coates)