SAO PAULO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Votorantim Industrial SA, Brazil’s largest industrial conglomerate, posted a third-quarter net loss due to the impact of a deep economic recession and rising U.S. dollar debt-servicing costs after a currency plunge.
The group, controlled by the family of Brazilian billionaire Ermirio de Moraes, posted a net loss of 81 million reais ($22 million), it said on Monday, down sharply from a profit of 578 million reais a year earlier.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell by one-third to 1.6 billion reais from a year ago, when Votorantim booked one-time earnings from an energy auction.
Brazil’s currency, the real, fell to an all-time low in the third quarter, driving up Votorantim’s gross debt by 7 billion reais to 30.1 billion reais at the end of September.
Chief Executive Officer João Miranda highlighted investments outside of Brazil as the country suffers its sharpest economic contraction in 25 years.
“In the face of Brazil’s economic recession, our diversified business and international presence become even more important to delivering consistent results,” Miranda said in the statement.
Votorantim’s capital spending rose 55 percent to 920 million reais in the quarter, half of which was intended to expand capacity, particularly at cement plants outside of Brazil. ($1 = 3.74 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)