February 22, 2017 / 1:20 PM / a year ago

Brazil's WEG posts weaker profit on taxes, strong local currency

SAO PAULO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - WEG SA, Latin America’s biggest maker of electric motors, reported a lower fourth-quarter profit due to a bigger tax bill and a stronger Brazilian currency that made exports less profitable.

Net income fell 16 percent from a year earlier to 323 million reais ($105 million), according to a securities filing on Wednesday.

Sales fell 13 percent, as currency fluctuations led to a 22 percent drop in net revenue from markets outside Brazil. Brazilian revenue edged up 1 percent from a year earlier and rose from the previous three months for the second quarter in a row.

The company said the fourth quarter had confirmed expectations of a healthier business environment in Brazil after a painful two-year recession but warned that the recovery would still be a slow one.

Tight cost controls help to lift earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 5 percent from a year earlier to 401 million reais.

WEG’s tax bill jumped to 70 million reais from 10 million reais a year earlier.

$1 = 3.09 reais Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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