SAO PAULO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Cosan SA Industria e Comercio, a diversified energy and logistics company, posted a loss in the third quarter as its Raízen joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell PLC consumed cash to build sugar and ethanol stocks, the company said on Wednesday.
Cosan lost of 13.3 million reais ($3.53 million) in the quarter ending Sept 30, compared with a profit of 15.2 million reais a year earlier.
Cosan, which owns Raízen in a 50-50 joint venture with Shell, said net revenue, or total sales minus sales taxes, rose 14 percent to 11.44 billion reais. Raízen is the world’s largest sugar-cane processor.
Earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization, a measure of cash flow known as EBITDA, rose 1.7 percent, to 991.8 million reais.
Raízen is the top sugar exporting company in the world and ranks among the three largest fuel distributors in Brazil.
Besides its 50 percent share of Raízen, Cosan controls Comgás, Brazil’s largest natural gas distributor, and Rumo Logística, one of the largest rail-freight companies.
“The third quarter of the year (the second of crop year) is typically marked by cash burn at Raízen Energia due to the inventory building strategy,” said Cosan in a securities filling.
Sugar and ethanol companies that can afford it usually build stocks during the peak of the cane processing period to sell the products later in the year when lower supplies drive up prices.
Cosan said Raízen’s cane crush was affected by unusually heavy rains during the third quarter, resulting in a total processed volume or 24.9 million tonnes, 0.9 percent less than a year earlier.
Raízen operates 23 mills in Brazil.
Cosan said Raízen’s net revenue from sugar operations rose 35.3 percent to 1.5 billion reais in the third quarter. The result does not include some currency-exchange related losses spread out over future quarters under the company’s “hedge accounting” rules.
Sales volumes rose 17.6 percent growth. The average price for sugar was 15.1 percent higher at 1,065 reais per tonne.
Ethanol-based revenue advanced 18.5 percent to 1.1 billion reais.
“The increased competitiveness of ethanol in the Brazilian market supported sales growth of 10.6 percent,” said Cosan.
Average ethanol price for the period was 1,490 reais per cubic meter, 7.2 percent higher than the same quarter last year.
$1 = 3.76 Brazilian reais Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Edited by Jeb Blount and David Gregorio