Brazil airline Gol posts rare profit on currency, aircraft deals
SAO PAULO May 11 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas posted its first quarterly profit in over four years as aircraft financing deals and a rebounding currency gave earnings a one-time lift.
Gol reported first-quarter net income of 757 million reais ($219 million) in a Wednesday securities filing, up from a net loss of 673 million reais a year earlier.
The struggling airline's last quarterly profit came in the final three months of 2011, before stiff competition, a sliding currency and Brazil's worst economic downturn in decades battered profitability.
By returning some aircraft to lessors early and signing sale-leaseback deals on other planes, Gol boosted first-quarter earnings by 213 million reais, the company said in the filing.
Brazil's currency, the real , also recovered nearly 10 percent in the first quarter after depreciating by a third in 2015. The shifting exchange rate reduced the cost in local terms of Gol's dollar-denominated debts, boosting its bottom line by 654 million reais.
Excluding the effect of the currency swing and the aircraft deals, Gol said it would have booked a net loss before taxes of 43 million reais.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization more than doubled from a year earlier to 552 million reais.
($1 = 3.45 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes)
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