By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The oil giant of Brazil, Petrobras, released on Wednesday night its net result for 2014, which was negative by over US$7 billion. Company officials also announced that corruption, bribes and devaluation of assets (impairment) cost the company over US$17 billion last year.
According to Petrobras executives the Lava Jato (Carwash) scheme alone caused losses of over US$2.1 billion. “We are taking a fundamental step towards the full recovery of Petrobras’ credibility with its stockholders, suppliers, the market and society; regaining its capacity for technological innovation, which has made this company a global reference in research and development,” said Petrobras’ new CEO Aldemir Bendine at the conference to announce the results.
Bendine noted that PricewatehouseCoopers (PwC) audited the report without restraint. Market analysts agree that this report is the first solid attempt by Petrobras to gain back international credibility after the Lava Jato scandal, a mega-corruption and money-laundering scheme set up by former Petrobras directors to obtain billions from construction companies in return for contracts.
During the press conference Wednesday night, the chief executive apologized for the irregularities and scandals that have shaken up one of Brazil’s largest and most prestigious companies. “Today I represent the company,” he said. Bendine stated that he, along with the other 86,000 employees of the Petrobras conglomerate, felt ashamed and embarrassed because of the widespread corruption. “I am here to offer my apologies, in the name of Petrobras’ employees, because today I am one of them,” he added.
With this report, Bendine says that board now considers that the losses due to corruption have all been accounted for. “From now on Petrobras will once again guarantee its relationship with investors, stockholders and creditors in Brazil and abroad,” he concluded.