Petrobras CEO sees debt falling below target by year-end 2018

|About: Petrobras - Petroleo Brasil... (PBR)|By:, SA News Editor

Petrobras (PBR +1.8%) could cut debt below a target of 2.5x EBITDA by the end of next year if it maintains the current trend of debt reduction, CEO Pedro Parente says.

PBR's debt at the end of 2016 was 3.54x EBITDA, a sharp improvement over 2015 when the company finished the year at 5.11x EBITDA; its debt load of just under $100B ranks among the highest in the global oil industry.

Parente says the company's cash generation currently is at an "extraordinary level" and that the appreciation of the Brazilian real during the last four months has helped cut debt debt in dollar terms.

The CEO also says PBR's pre-salt fields have shown a productivity 30% above expectations, which has helped to reduce production costs.