(Adds details from the earnings statement)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian food processor BRF SA said it lost money for the third consecutive year as trade embargoes, fallout from a food safety investigation and Brazil's feeble economy thwarted efforts to turn the firm around in 2018.
The company posted a net loss of 4.46 billion reais ($1.19 billion) for 2018, a 306 percent increase from the previous year, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday.
The company recognized a 2.5 billion reais negative impact from the sale of assets included in a divestment plan, which were sold below book value.
BRF also posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter net loss of 2.125 billion reais ($569 million), its second consecutive quarterly shortfall. Analysts polled by Refinitiv looked for a net loss of 170.52 million real ($45.64 million).
BRF said results were significantly affected after the European Union embargoed meat products from 12 of its plants after its alleged involvement in a food safety investigation in Brazil.
Such embargoes, it said, spurred an oversupply of chicken and pork products in the domestic market.
This, combined with a rise in grain prices used as feed, put margins under "strong" pressure, the company said.
BRF said grain prices used as feed rose by 30 percent in 2018 compared with a meager 3.3 percent increase in the price of proteins sold in the Brazilian market. ($1 = 3.7407 reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)