13 de diciembre de 2014 / 0:06 / en 3 años

UPDATE 1-Petrobras delays unaudited financial results, cites 'new facts'

(Adds new Petrobras deadline for unaudited results)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Friday it delayed release of unaudited third-quarter financial results after new developments in an expanding bribery and money laundering case.

The company, which had scheduled the release of the unaudited accounts for late Friday, released instead a limited amount of financial data that it does not believe will be affected by adjustments related to the corruption investigation, it said in a statement.

Among the details it released was third-quarter unaudited net sales of 88.4 billion reais ($33.4 billion).

Last month, Petrobras delayed the release of third-quarter earnings, following accusations that the company systematically overpaid for assets and work by contractors and after its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, declined to certify the accounts.

On Friday, Petrobras said it decided to delay its results for a second time in a month “as a result of new facts that have occurred since Nov. 13, 2014, related directly or indirectly to Operation Car Wash.”

Operation Car wash began in April with the arrest of a top Petrobras official who outlined an alleged scheme where the company systematically overpaid for assets and work by contractors and the excess was kicked back to executives and politicians as bribes and campaign contributions.

Petrobras said it has until Jan. 31, 2015 to release unaudited third-quarter results without breaking covenants in its debt agreements. Breaking the covenants could spark a technical default or force early payment.

While neither confirming nor denying that such conduct took place, executives said on Nov. 17 that Petrobras would reassess the value of some assets based on whether bribes were part of the purchase price and could take accounting losses accordingly.

$1 = 2.65 Brazilian reais Reporting by Jeb Blount and Walter Brandimarte; Editing by David Gregorio

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