SAO PAULO, April 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA said on Thursday it plans to invest 1 billion reais ($254 million) this year, virtually the same as in 2018, as the company remains bearish on the country’s economic outlook.
Usiminas, as the company is known, also projected net financial expenses of 421 million reais this year, it said in a filing.
In a separate document, Usiminas reported a drop of almost 52 percent in first-quarter net profit to 76 million reais, as Brazilian economic indicators were weaker than expected at the beginning of the year.
Usiminas said the industry continued to operate with high levels of idle capacity, reflecting “a gradual” economic recovery.
In the first quarter, the company reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, almost 24 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier.
Usiminas’ EBITDA came in at 474 million reais.
$1 = 3.9382 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernadette Baum