April 25, 2018 / 9:29 AM / a year ago

China Vanke Q1 core profit up 22 pct

HONG KONG, April 25 (Reuters) - China Vanke , the country’s second-biggest property developer by sales, on Wednesday reported a 22.1 percent rise in first-quarter core profit on solid revenue growth.

China posted its fastest property investment growth in three years in the first quarter, driven by a surge in land values and as developers grew more confident about the policy outlook. But property sales slowed as existing curbs hit transactions.

Vanke’s core profit, which excludes revaluation gains, climbed to 825.9 million yuan ($130.72 million) in the January-March quarter. Net profit rose 28.7 percent to 894.9 million yuan.

Revenue gained 65.8 percent to 30.8 billion yuan.

The company reported contracted sales of 154.3 billion yuan during the period, 2 percent higher than a year ago.

Big developers are expected to continue to post solid growth in 2018 despite an expected slowdown in national sales as they have better access to funding and are stronger at closing sales than their smaller rivals.

China’s new home prices rose for their 35th consecutive month in March, with more cities reporting growth as the government supported first-time buyers and despite curbs to dampen speculative demand.

Prices for new homes in China are, on average, expected to rise faster than previously thought in 2018 on falls in inventories and continued robust demand in smaller cities, according to a Reuters poll last month. ($1 = 6.3180 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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