UPDATE 1-Philippines' Ayala Land posts strong Q3, gains from rising wealth

Wed Nov 7, 2012 2:18am EST

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(Recasts with Q3 results)

* Q3 net 2.29 bln pesos vs 1.85 bln yr ago

* Revenue up 23 pct at 14 bln pesos

* Shares down 1.6 pct, but are outperformers this year

MANILA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The Philippines' largest property developer Ayala Land Inc posted a 24 percent rise in quarterly profit as a robust economy drove home purchases.

Ayala Land, owned by conglomerate Ayala Corp, said on Tuesday its July-September net profit rose to 2.29 billion pesos ($56 million) from 1.85 billion pesos a year earlier. Consolidated revenue grew 23 percent to 14 billion pesos.

No consensus estimate for the period was available for Ayala as most analysts in the Philippines do not forecast quarterly earnings.

The builder of residential towers and enclaves, office buildings, and hotels, and operator of resorts and shopping malls has consistently registered profit growth of more than 20 percent every quarter since 2010 as it has expanded aggressively to benefit from the economy.

The Philippines is one of Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economies, advancing at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first half, aided by strong private and public consumption. That has helped create wealth and boost sales of property and the development of shopping malls in the country.

A steady flow of cash remittances by Filipinos abroad, averaging $1.7 billion a month, has also underpinned the sector's growth.

Ayala's average monthly sales take up in the first nine months of the year was 6.4 billion pesos, nearly 50 percent higher than the average from the same year-ago period.

"What we should be looking at is whether they can sustain this momentum. It's the fourth quarter that matters a lot, whether they'll be launching enough projects to sustain growth," Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at brokerage Campos, Lanuza & Co in Manila, said ahead of the results.

Ayala said in a statement that project launches for the rest of the year were on schedule.

Shares in Ayala Land were down as much as 3 percent during the day but pared losses to 1.6 percent in afternoon trade after the results were announced. The stock is up nearly 50 percent so far this year, outperforming a broader market that has gained 25 percent.

($1 = 41.2 pesos) (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Rosemarie Francisco and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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