July 28, 2016 / 2:25 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Usiminas posts smaller-than-expected 2nd-quarter loss

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SAO PAULO, July 28 (Reuters) - Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA, Brazil’s largest listed producer of flat steel, on Thursday posted a smaller-than-expected second-quarter net loss as sales volume withstood the impact of a deep recession and rising imports.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based Usiminas posted a shortfall of 123 million reais ($38 million), compared with the average consensus estimate of a loss of 280.1 million reais, as compiled by Thomson Reuters. That was sharply down from a loss of 781 million reais a year earlier.

Usiminas’ board unanimously approved a plan this month to inject 1 billion reais ($307 million) of capital into the company, a precondition for accelerating the refinancing of 7 billion reais in debt with banks and bondholders.

A boardroom battle between controlling shareholders Techint Group and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp over control of Usiminas did not appear to distract management as Usiminas showed progress in its operating profits.

Usiminas posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 61 million reais in the quarter, versus a loss of 755 million in the year-earlier period.

EBITDA was 50 million reais in the first quarter.

The improved operating results came partly due to a sharp reduction in investment, which fell to 50 million reais in the quarter, versus 70 million in the first three months of the year and 226 million in the second quarter of 2015, the company said.

Usiminas, which has the capacity to produce 9 million tonnes of steel per year, produced 1.57 million in the first half of the year, down 42 percent from the same period of 2015. ($1 = 3.2586 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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