SAO PAULO, May 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecom Oi SA posted its third quarterly loss in a year on Thursday as a slow turnaround and hefty debt-servicing costs weighed on results.
The net loss of 447 million reais ($147 million) was bigger than the average forecast of a 342 million reais loss in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Oi posted a 228 million reais profit in the first quarter of 2014, when the sale of cellular towers helped the company boost profit and address liquidity issues at the time.
The cost of leasing tower space increased rent and insurance costs 13 percent, which Oi worked to offset by cutting marketing expenses by 71 percent and personnel costs by 10 percent. As a result, routine operating expenses declined 5 percent, which the company pointed to as evidence of stronger earnings ahead.
Without the one-time revenue from asset sales, however, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 35 percent to 2.011 billion reais, slightly ahead of the 1.97 billion reais forecast in the Reuters survey.
Net financial expenses rose 6 percent to 1.269 billion reais as the cost of servicing Oi's massive debt continued to rise. Net debt rose 8 percent to 32.557 billion reais.
$1 = 3.03 Brazilian reais Reporting by Brad Haynes