Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras reported a steep net loss for the first quarter of the year and warned more heavy losses were on the horizon because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company posted a net loss of 48.5 billion reals ($8.35 billion at the current exchange rate) for the first three months of the year, its worst quarter since it was hit by a huge corruption scandal in 2014-2017.
The loss was mainly because of a 65.3-billion-real impairment charge the firm took when it wrote down the value of some of its oil fields, saying the "challenging environment" now meant they were overvalued.
"The global oil and gas industry has been hit hard and is facing its worst crisis in the last 100 years," chief executive Roberto Castello Branco said in a statement.
Petrobras' first-quarter earnings were down more than 1,300 percent from the first quarter of last year, when it booked a net profit of 4.03 billion reals, and down nearly 700 percent from the fourth quarter, when it booked a net profit of 8.15 billion reals.
The loss came despite the fact that oil prices only started their downward spiral toward the end of the quarter.
"The global recession did not significantly affect the company’s performance in 1Q20, which is expected to happen in the following quarters," he said.
Branco warned worse quarters likely lie ahead for Petrobras.