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Petrobras profits plummet in second quarter

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 11, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - Brazil's troubled oil giant Petrobas on Thursday reported a 93 percent drop in profits in the second quarter of 2017 from the previous three months.

Petrobras reported 316 million reais profits ($100 million), down from 4.4 billion in the first quarter.

It was still the third consecutive quarter of profits for the company, which has struggled in the aftermath of lower oil prices and its role at the center of a huge corruption scandal in Brazil.

In 2016 it lost 14.8 billion reais ($4.2 billion in the average exchange rate for last year). 2015 saw losses of 34.8 billion reais.

For the first half of 2017, net profits were 4.8 billion reais, compared to 876 million reais in losses in the same period last year.

This "reflects an improvement in operational results, despite weak sales of derivative products on the Brazilian market," Petrobras said.

The EBITDA for the second quarter of 2017 -- earnings before interest payments, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- reached 19.1 billion reais, compared to 20.3 billion in the same period in 2016.

"We had fairly positive results," Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente told a press conference. The drop in net profits was due to "extraordinary factors," he said.