(Adds details of earnings, exchange rate effect)
SAO PAULO, April 24 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Fibria Celulose SA, , the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, posted a first-quarter net loss of 566 million reais ($190 million), as a weaker currency drove up the cost of servicing its dollar-denominated debts.
The net loss, reported in a securities filing on Friday, was down from a net profit of 19 million reais a year earlier, but smaller than the 833 million reais loss that analysts forecast on average in a Reuters survey.
Revenue rose 22 percent on a 3 percent increase in volumes, as greater demand in Asia boosted prices. A much stronger dollar also boosted the value in reais of Fibria’s exports, which make up around 90 percent of sales.
Still, the sharp depreciation of Brazil’s currency in the first quarter drove up the cost of servicing Fibria’s debts, 94 percent of which are denominated in dollars.
The exchange rate variation wiped 1.123 billion reais from Fibria’s bottom line in the first quarter, but the export-focused company stands to benefit in the long run from a strong dollar.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, rose 48 percent to 1.007 billion reais, adjusting for non-recurring and non-cash items, above an average forecast of 931 million reais. Without those adjustments, EBITDA was 985 million reais.
$1 = 2.98 Brazilian reais Reporting by Brad Haynes and Priscila Jordao; Editing by W Simon and Chizu Nomiyama