RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras said on Wednesday that it earned a net income of 25.8 billion reals (6.91 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, marking the first profit in five years.
"Petrobras' 2018 performance is undoubtedly the best in many years," said Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco, adding that it includes some historical records related to cash flow and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
Petrobras' adjusted EBITDA reached a record high of 114.9 billion reals (30.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 and its cash flow reached a record high of 54.6 billion reals (14.6 billion dollars).
Net debt fell from 84.9 billion reals (22.7 billion dollars) in 2017 to 69.4 billion reals (18.6 billion dollars) in 2018.
The net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio fell from 3.67 in 2017 to 2.34 in 2018. The company will make shareholders' payment amounting to 7.1 billion reals (1.9 billion dollars).
Petrobras's recovery came after an extensive crisis related to bribing high-ranking officials and fraudulent contracts.
Petrobras attributed its "solid results" to factors such as "higher margins in the sales of derivatives in Brazil and oil exports, accompanying the increase in the Brent quotation and the appreciation of the dollar."
"There was also a recovery of market share in diesel and a fall in general and administrative expenses. Also contributing to the result were the reduction of interest expenses, due to decreasing indebtedness, and the regularization of credits with Eletrobras," the company added.