UPDATE 1-Brazil's Eletrobras posts steep loss, to invest $26.8 bln by 2018
(Adds earnings release, context)
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, March 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-run electricity utility Eletrobras posted a net loss of 5.5 billion reais ($2.42 billion) for the fourth quarter as it continued to adapt to government-mandated tariff reductions, the company said on Friday.
The figure compares to a net loss of 10.5 billion reais a year earlier and a 915 million reais loss in the third quarter.
Eletrobras agreed in late 2012 to a government plan to renew expiring hydroelectric dam concessions in exchange for electricity rate cuts of between 18 percent and 32 percent.
The changes weighed on profits throughout the year and continued to hamper the company as net revenue dropped to 6 billion reais from 8.2 billion reais a year earlier.
Operational provisions totaled about 3.7 billion reais in the quarter due to the write-down of some generation assets, including 532.5 million reais of assets from its Eletronuclear division.
The company is struggling to adapt to the new reality of lower rates by cutting costs and reorganizing its management structure, which is spread across a range of subsidiary companies.
Eletrobras expects to wrap up the restructuring by July, according to a securities filing on Friday, and plans to invest 60.8 billion reais ($26.8 billion) through 2018 on expanding and modernizing its generation, transmission and distribution assets. Continuación...