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MRV Rallies as Quarterly Sales Exceed Estimates: Sao Paulo Mover

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- MRV Engenharia & Participacoes SA, Brazil’s second-biggest homebuilder by market value, rose after quarterly sales beat forecast as competition diminished.

Shares advanced 4.8 percent to 8.96 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the biggest one-day gain since April 10. The benchmark Bovespa index added 1.4 percent.

Sales jumped 34 percent to 1.1 billion reais ($547 million) in the first quarter of 2013 from the same period in 2012, according to a regulatory filing disclosing its preliminary results after the close of trading yesterday. That compares with the average estimate of 1.04 billion reais among three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The increase is the result of reduced competition in the low-income market and better strategies to sell homes, Leonardo Correa, MRV’s chief financial officer, said in an interview in Sao Paulo. Rivals PDG Realty SA and Rossi Residencial SA said at the beginning of the month that they are switching their focus to more expensive projects.

“Those first-quarter numbers show that our strategy to focus on the low-income market is correct,” Correa said.

About 90 percent of MRV’s houses and apartments are sold through a federal government financing program called “My House, My Life,” which targets families with monthly income of as much as 5,000 reais.

To reach those consumers, MRV is expanding its own sales team and advertising on the Internet as well, Correa said.

MRV has declined 25 percent this year while the Bovespa fell 12 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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