UPDATE 1-Brazil's Fibria blunts currency blow by cutting foreign debt
(Adds details of earnings, share performance, executive comment)
SAO PAULO Oct 22 (Reuters) - Brazil's Fibria Celulose SA , the world's largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, reported a smaller-than-expected net loss on Wednesday as a push to cut its foreign debt reduced the impact of the volatile local currency.
The third-quarter net loss came to 359 million reais ($145 million), according to a securities filing, compared with a year-earlier profit of 57 million reais. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average expected a loss of 600 million reais.
The company cut its net dollar debt by 19 percent to $2.98 billion on Sept. 30 from a year earlier. That softened the blow from a sharply weaker Brazilian currency, which still drove up foreign debt-servicing costs and contributed to a loss of 785 million reais from investments.
Weaker global pulp prices have also weighed on revenue. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 24 percent to 562 million reais, slightly below the average estimate of 583 million reais.
Fibria executives said in July that pulp prices had touched bottom. Senior executive Henri Philippe Van Keer told analysts on a Wednesday call that this month the company would fully implement a price hike it had announced in September.
Shares of Fibria were up 1.6 percent on the Sao Paulo stock exchange.
($1 = 2.48 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes and Alberto Alerigi Jr. Editing by W Simon and Lisa Von Ahn)
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