Marfrig, the Brazil-based meat group, has revealed its sales and operating earnings edged up in the first nine months of the year but the company continued to report a net loss as finance costs dented the bottom line. 

The company said group revenue rose to BRL14.33bn (US$4.23bn) compared to BRL14.21bn in the first nine months of 2015. 

EBIT rose to BRL770.4m, compared to BRL700.9m last year, as higher operating costs were offset by lower depreciation and amortisation. 

On a net basis, the company has been able to reduce its finance expenses by deleveraging. Marfrig cut its financial costs to BLR1.44bn, compared to BRL1.65bn in the first nine months of last year. The group also benefited from a lower tax rate during the period. 

This was not, however, enough to bring Marfrig back into the black. The group also lapped a one-time gain of BRL960.9m registered in the comparable period of last year related to discontinued operations. Net losses, therefore, rose to BRL408.5m compared to BRL391.1m last year. 

Marfrig has been working to strengthen its balance sheet. The group sold off its Moy Park unit in Europe last year for US$1.5bn. Earlier this year, the company disposed of its Argentine units for a consideration of $75m.

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