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China Vanke Posts 16% Gain in Profit as Home Sales Defy Curbs

China Vanke Co., the nation’s biggest developer, reported a 16 percent jump in first-quarter profit as sales of smaller homes defied government curbs.

Net income climbed to 1.61 billion yuan ($260 million), from 1.4 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange. Revenue gained 35 percent to 14 billion yuan. Vanke was expected to report profit of 1.63 billion yuan, based on the mean estimate of two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

About 90 percent of Vanke’s projects sold were homes of smaller than 144 square meters (1,550 square feet), the company said. That helped it boost sales from buyers who bought homes for self-use even as the government last month implemented the toughest property measures in a year by ordering the central bank to raise down-payment requirements and interest rates for second mortgages in cities with excessive price gains.

Vanke, with 51 billion yuan of cash as of the end of March 31, will look for land acquisition opportunities, according to the statement.

The Shenzhen-based developer’s contracted sales, based on bookings of apartments before they are built, rose 41 percent to 43.7 billion yuan in the first three months, the company said. Developers in China typically sell homes before construction begins and book earnings from sales progressively.

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