Brazil’s Cosan Q1 profit plunges

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Cosan (CZZ.N) >, the world’s largest producer of cane sugar and ethanol, reported a net profit of 8.7 million reais ($4.9 million) in the past quarter, down sharply from 337.3 million reais posted a year ago, as operating costs jumped.

Net operating revenue rose to 4 billion reais from 3.57 billion reais.

But the company (CSAN3.SA) saw a loss on foreign exchange versus a gain, taking a chunk out of profits.

The takeover of NovAmerica last year helped increase sugar and ethanol volumes and boost the company’s revenue.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a key measure of cash flow known as EBITDA, rose to 358 million reais from 311.2 million reais.

Cosan’s earnings report is for the first quarter of its fiscal year, which starts on April 1 and ends on March 31, following the sugar cane harvesting cycle in Brazil’s center-south region. ($1=1.772 reais) (Writing by Reese Ewing; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

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