March 27, 2019 / 1:41 PM / 3 months ago

Brazil telecoms firm Oi's shares sink after reporting quarterly loss

SAO PAULO, March 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecommunications firm Oi SA reported a big quarterly loss on Wednesday, sending shares of the heavily indebted company down nearly 5 percent in morning trading

Oi, Brazil's largest fixed-line operator, reported a net loss of 3.359 billion reais ($858 million) in the fourth quarter of 2018 late on Tuesday, 65.7 percent more than the loss it reported a year earlier. Total revenue fell 7.9 percent.

The company's total debt at the end of 2018 stood at 16.45 billion reais, an improvement over 54.62 billion reais at the end of 2017, thanks largely to debt restructuring.

Oi boosted investments 7.5 percent in 2018, the company said, expanding its Brazil's high-speed broadband to compete more effectively with the local units of Telefonica SA and Telecom Italia SpA.

In 2016, Oi filed for bankruptcy protection, setting off a protracted battle among creditors and shareholders.

A restructuring plan was finally agreed in December 2017 and much of the company's activities since then have revolved around implementing the terms of the agreement. (Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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