March 27, 2009 / 4:02 AM / 9 years ago

Brazil's Embraer Q4 profit down 44 pct on derivatives

SAO PAULO, March 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer (EMBR3.SA)(ERJ.N) said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit fell 44 percent because of large derivatives losses and slowing sales.

Net income under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles dropped to $111.7 million for the quarter from $200.9 million in the year-earlier period, Embraer said in a statement. The profit was lower than the $159.3 million average of four estimates in a Reuters survey.

Sales fell 3 percent to $1.82 billion as aircraft deliveries dropped to 59 from 61 in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a measure of cash flow known as EBITDA, climbed to $607.5 million from $433 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Embraer, short for Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica, had $120.6 million in losses on derivatives positions, which pressured the bottomline in the period. Net financial losses totaled $154.03 million, compared with financial gains of $34.76 million in the fourth-quarter of 2007, mainly because of the derivatives losses.

The company said its firm order backlog had reached $20.9 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, 3.2 percent lower from the quarter ended in September as demand for air travel dropped around the world because of the global economic downturn.

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of regional jets seating up to 120 passengers. It also makes business jets and military aircraft.

Its main rival in the regional jet market is Canada’s Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO). (Reporting by Elzio Barreto, Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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