(Recasts with earnings projections)
SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s largest airline, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, on Friday forecast 2018 losses at least 45 percent larger than previously forecast, adding that it expects to restore profitability this year by a wider-than-expected margin.
Gol and its competitors struggled during the first three quarters of 2018 due to weak emerging market currencies and high oil prices.
That trend, however, reversed in the fourth quarter of the year, for which results have yet to be officially posted.
Gol now expects losses of between $1.60 and $1.80 per share, up from a prior forecast for a $1.10 per share loss, it said in a securities filing.
Gol reported a net loss of more than $350 million for the first nine months of 2018.
For 2019, as prices of oil have fallen and Brazil’s real currency has appreciated, Gol is now forecasting profits of between $1.20 and $1.40 per share, compared to a previous projection of between $0.80 and $1.20 per share traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Gol’s shares also trade on Brazil’s Bovespa index. The airline also raised its projections for debt levels for 2018 and 2019. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun, Alberto Alerigi in Sao Paulo and Jake Spring in Brasilia; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jason Neely)