Saudi's Dar Al Arkan Q1 net profit rises 4.3 pct

DUBAI, April 17 Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:05am EDT

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DUBAI, April 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian real estate firm Dar Al Arkan reported a 4.3 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, beating analyst forecasts, on the back of higher sales of its developed properties.

The kingdom's largest listed property developer made a net profit of 247.9 million riyals ($66.1 million) compared with 237.6 million riyals in the corresponding period in 2013.

The earnings beat forecasts of three analysts polled by Reuters who had expected, on average, a profit of 222.3 million riyals for the quarter.

Dar Al Arkan said the increase in net profit was mainly due to higher sales of developed properties at higher gross margins.

The company said in February that it may consider early repayment of a $450 million Islamic bond due to mature in February 2015. ($1 = 3.7503 Saudi Riyals) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)

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