SAO PAULO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Tereos Internacional SA , controller of one of Brazil’s biggest sugar and ethanol milling groups Guarani, posted on Wednesday a net loss of 141 million reais ($40 million) in the April-June quarter, greater than the 32 million real loss a year ago.
Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industry has been struggling to turn the corner on the worst crisis in its history, as mills try to rebuild profit margins as sugar prices hit multi-year lows daily and Brazilian price controls on the fuel markets remain opaque.
Tereos Internacional’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortization, a gauge of a company’s operating health known as EBITDA, fell 29 percent annually to 123 million reais in the first financial quarter, which corresponds with the start of the cane harvest season on April 1.
Mills are also struggling with growing debts, some of which have been inflated by the recent weakening of the real against the dollar.
Tereos Internacional’s debt grew to 5.3 billion reais, up from 4 billion reais on June 30 a year ago and up from 4.7 billion reais in the quarter ending March 31. Tereos said 55 percent of its debt is denominated in dollars, with 20 percent in reais and 24 percent in euros.
The 23 percent decline in the value of the real against the dollar this year has contributed to the company’s debt to EBITDA to climb to 6.7 on June 30 from 5.5 on March 31.
Tereos’ mills in Brazil crushed 6.55 million tonnes of cane in the first quarter, up 0.7 percent from a year ago, while sugar production fell 11 percent to 427,000 tonnes in the quarter from a year ago. Ethanol production rose 2 percent annually to 213 million liters from a year ago. (Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Bernard Orr)