Brazilian airline Gol posts eighth straight loss in Q4
BRASILIA, March 25 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas reported its eighth straight loss in the fourth quarter as a decline in the real pushed up costs, exacerbating the impact of higher fuel prices and a reduction in domestic flights.
Gol has been cutting domestic services in favor of more lucrative international services as it seeks to return to profitability in the year Brazil welcomes an influx of tourists for the soccer World Cup.
In October-December, streamlining operations and filling more seats helped Gol narrow its net loss to 19.3 million reais ($8.36 million) from 447.1 million reais a year earlier, the company said in a securities filing late on Tuesday.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - a gauge of cash generation known as EBITDA - amounted to 343.4 million reais compared with 210.1 million reais.
"The macroeconomic scenario looks even more challenging in 2014 with a higher fuel price than in 2013 and devaluation of the real against the dollar keeping up the pressure of costs," Chief Executive Paulo Kakinoff said in the filing.
The airline has requested an additional 974 flights or changes to flight schedules during the World Cup, which runs from June 12 to July 13.
It also said it expects to reduce capacity this year by 1 to 3 percent on domestic flights, and expand capacity by up to 8 percent on international routes.
Shares of Gol closed down 1.0 percent ahead of the earnings release, compared with a 0.4 percent rise in the benchmark index .
($1 = 2.3092 reais) (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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