Brazilian state-run Petrobras said it made a record net profit last year, proving its resilience in the wake of a massive corruption scandal. 

In 2019 the oil giant reported a net profit of 40.1 billion reals, which was up 55.7 per cent on the previous year. This marked the second straight year of profit for Petrobras, having spent three previous years far in the red.

Low production costs and an asset sell-off that netted it $16.3 billion last year were to thank for last year’s record profits, Petrobas said in a statement. 

Elsewhere, fourth-quarter profit, came in below analysts’ forecasts at around $2 billion. 

The company is still recovering from the well-publicised scandal triggered by Operation Car Wash in 2014. This uncovered widespread corruption that meant the company was essentially plundered by politicians and business executives.

The company is currently amid a strike by around 21,000 workers Brazilian oil workers, which has left it clambering to avoid a drop in production. 

Petrobras subsidiary ANSA’s decision to close a fertiliser plant in the southern state of Parana, (resulting in around 1,000 layoffs), was the catalyst for the strike, which began on February 1 and is now defying a court order, according to the union FUP.

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21st February 2020