Brazil’s largest wireless carrier Telefonica Brasil SA reported on Wednesday R$1.274 billion ($293 million) Q4 net income, down 14.3% year-on-year, as taxes and depreciation costs overshadowed an improved operating performance. The subsidiary of Spain’s Telefónica SA, which in Brazil operates under the brand Vivo, said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of Vivo’s operating performance also known as EBITDA, rose by 22.8% in Q4 to R$4.967 billion.
Brazil meatpacker JBS (JBSS3.SA) said in a securities filing Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire five case ready production facilities from Empire Packing Company, as well as the Ledbetter brand for $238 million. The facilities are located in the United States and the transaction still requires regulatory approval.
Itaú Unibanco and Bradesco, Brazil’s two largest banks, maintain their estimates of 2.2% to 2.5% Brazil GDP growth this year, although they warn that the next two months will be crucial for the government. This is due to the below-expected productive activity in December and slightly contradictory economic indicators in January.
Brazilian truck drivers began protesting early on Monday at Latin America’s largest port in Santos, affecting the unloading of shipments and arrival of trucks at the port. The union is demanding a reduction of value-added taxes on gasoline and diesel, the port’s management said. Santos is the No. 1 export port for Brazilian soy, corn and sugar, among other products.
Companhia Energética de São Paulo (CESP3) reported a net profit of R $ 1.3 billion in Q4 of 2019 against R $ 59 million in the same period of 2018. In large part, the result was achieved by reducing contingencies in R $ 1.5 billion and obtaining tax credits for R $ 1 billion. The company’s net profit in 2019 was R $ 1.16 billion, more than triple R $ 294 million in 2018.
Spanish supermarket chain Dia has appointed Marcelo Maia as chief executive of its Brazilian subsidiary to lead a restructuring process in the country, and as part of a broader global shakeup. Dia Brasil has 900 brick-and-mortar stores across Brazil, and closed around 300 underperforming stores last year, most of which were franchises. The company employs 6,800 people in Brazil.
“What we want from and with Argentina is Mercosur, a good relation, but having democracy and freedom above all”, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday. He expects foreign ministers of both countries agree on a new date for a meeting with his peer Alberto Fernández after the suggested summit in Montevideo on March 1 fell through due to the Argentina Congress opening sessions on the same day.
Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza SA reported on Monday a 11.4% drop in its fourth-quarter net income year-on-year, as a 51.3% jump in total sales, including third-party sellers, was overshadowed by higher operating costs, driving margins down. In a securities filing, the company said its quarterly net profit hit 168 million reais ($39.1 million) compared with 189.6 million reais in the same period a year ago.
Brazil is studying the construction of a bi-national hydroelectric plant with Bolivia on the Mamoré river (northwest of the country) at a cost of $5 billion, said the Brazilian general director of Itaipu Binacional, general Joaquim Silva e Luna. In the next three years, Itaipú Binacional will have its debt settled for the construction of its plant, which will release about $2 billion annually, half for Paraguay and half for Brazil, which can count on this money to invest in the construction of the new central, he said.
The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative (FSFCI) launched by Nutreco, Grieg Seafood and Tesco in December has already secured more than $14 million to provide savanna soy producers with financial incentives to ensure that future soy cultivation expansion in the Cerrado biome only is carried out on existing agricultural lands. The exact mechanism by which these funds will be disbursed has not yet been developed.