Petrobras posts record loss amid oil rout

Scandal-hit Brazilian producer loses $10.2bn in fourth quarter
Workers move past Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. signage in the company's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
© Bloomberg
Petrobras, the state oil company at the centre of Brazil’s largest corruption scandal, recorded its biggest loss on record in the fourth quarter as oil prices slid
The Rio de Janeiro-based producer said on Monday it had made a R$36.9bn ($10.2bn) consolidated net loss in the fourth quarter, compared with a R$26.6bn loss in the same period a year earlier. 
collapse in global oil prices has hit Petrobras just as it struggles to emerge from a corruption scandal that has paralysed the industry and triggered the country’s worstpolitical crisis in decades.
Over the full year, Petrobras recorded a net loss of R$34.8bn — 61 per cent lower than the R$21.6bn loss booked in 2014. 
The loss was driven by writedowns to assets and investments totalling R$49.7bn over the year — equivalent to one-third of the company’s market value. About 80 per cent of the impairments were in the company’s exploration and production division, the company said. 
Total revenues slipped to R$321.6bn in 2015 from R$337.3bn in the previous year and remained little-changed in the fourth quarter at R$85bn. 
Brent crude, the international benchmark, hit a 13-year low near $27 a barrel in January as the global oil glut wreaked havoc across the industry and raised fears that deflation could hit already lacklustre global growth.
The oil group’s finances have also come under strain from the bribery and kickback scandal, which prompted a R$6.2bn write-off last year and has made it more difficult to access new funding.
In February, Petrobras turned to China Development Bank for a $10bn loan as part of a deal to supply oil to the country. It has also raced to slash investment and sell assets. 
In January, the company cut its five-year investment plan by $32bn to help preserve cash. The state-controlled oil producer said it planned to invest $98.4bn between 2015 and 2019, down 25 per cent from its original forecast of $130.3bn. 
Brazil’s Estado de São Paulo newspaper reported this week that the company also planned to axe 12,000 staff — about 15 per cent of its workforce — via a voluntary redundancy programme.