UPDATE 2-Petrobras profit slumps 89 pct on unexpected charges
(Adds CEO comment, more details of results)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 6 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-led oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said its second-quarter net income fell a steeper-than-expected 89 percent after a one-time charge for underperforming assets.
Quarterly profit fell to 531 million reais ($150.4 million) from 4.96 billion reais a year ago, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday. That compared with a 4 billion real average estimate of 12 analysts polled by Reuters.
Profit was mainly hurt by the decision to take a 1.28 billion real charge related to its gas and energy, refining and supply, and exploration and production units. Petrobras also took an unexpected 1.6 billion real charge to resolve a tax issue with Brazil's federal government.
Chief Executive Aldemir Bendine, who took over the helm in February, has been fighting to clean up a balance sheet undermined by a massive bribery and kickback scandal and a plunge in the price of oil. He is cutting investment to control $134 billion of debt, the largest of any oil company.
"We want to leave the company in a situation where it has the highest levels of management in the world," Bendine told reporters at the company's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro late Thursday. "We want the company to go forward with its liabilities and challenges it faces cleaned up."
Considering the need to take the impairment and tax charges, Bendine said the company's profit, one of the smallest in recent years, "was great."
Petrobras also reported net sales, after taxes, of 79.9 billion reais and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, of 19.8 billion reais, the company said.
($1 = 3.5316 Brazilian reais) (Additional reporting by Marta Nogueira and Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Editing by Richard Chang)
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