August 15, 2018 / 12:23 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's state-run utility Eletrobras 2nd-qtr profit soars

(Adds earnings details)

SAO PAULO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-controlled power utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA on Tuesday said its second-quarter net profit soared when compared with the same period a year earlier, helped by increases in power prices.

Eletrobras, as the company is known, reported in a securities filing net income of 2.832 billion reais ($732.50 million), up sharply from 344 million reais in the second quarter of 2017.

The company said increases in the prices of power in several Brazilian states where it operates with power distribution subsidiaries boosted its quarterly earnings considerably.

The increases have been authorized by the federal government, which is trying to improve the finances of many distribution companies that Eletrobras plans to sell to private investors in the coming months.

Eletrobras said the tariff increase’s positive impact totaled 3.84 billion reais.

The company also said that its results benefited from scrapping a provision worth 1.33 billion reais related to a possible cost with a duty the government of Pará state was willing to charge it. Eletrobras no longer believes it will have to pay that duty.

The Brazilian government has the intention to sell a controlling stake in Eletrobras. The privatization process, however, has hardly advanced among criticism from politicians and unions who defend state control. ($1 = 3.8662 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl, Marcelo Teixeira and Luciano Costa; editing by Sandra Maler, G Crosse)

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