Brazil’s troubled state-run oil company, Petrobras, is well on its way to recovery, according to first quarter balance sheets released Thursday. The company earned a net profit of R$4.45 billion, reversing a first-quarter 2016 net loss of R$1.25 billion. Petrobras suffered severe losses in 2015 and 2016 following a sweeping corruption scandal. The scandal forced Petrobras to abandon key projects and suffer steep write-downs in asset values. The company has undergone a major restructuring since mid-2016. Profits returned on a combination of factors. One factor is sale of assets, which has helped pay down debt and reduce debt-service costs. Another is refocusing of investments on core oil drilling and refining operations. This led to a 9% rise in crude oil production year-on-year to an average of 2.25 mil lion barrels per day. Petrobras has also increased its exports of oil derivatives while cutting operational costs.
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