Brazilian homebuilder Gafisa 4th-quarter profit falls 99 pct

sábado 28 de febrero de 2015 00:10 GYT

RIO DE JANEIRO Feb 27 (Reuters) - Net income at Brazil's Gafisa SA slid nearly 100 percent in the fourth quarter as sales fell, costs rose and the middle and low-income homebuilder had to do without a one-time, year-earlier gain, the company said in a statement late Friday.

Gafisa reported a consolidated net profit of 8.05 million reais ($2.84 million) in the three months ending Dec 31, 99 percent less than the 921.3 million reais reported a year earlier.

Six analysts surveyed by Reuters were divided on whether the company would show a loss or a gain, but the four who expected a gain forecast an average profit of 7.9 million reais, an estimate in line with the result.

The average of the two other estimates was for a loss of 14.7 million reais.

Gafisa only launched projects within its low-income Tenda division in the quarter as it struggled to reduce a backlog of unsold residences.

The company's middle-income division, also named Gafisa, reported a 36.8-million-real profit the quarter. The low-income Tenda division posted a 28.8-million-real loss.

Contract cancellations in the Tenda unit fell 12 percent to 66.3 million reais from a year earlier and 55 percent from the third quarter.

Gafisa acquired Tenda in 2008, but a series of budget overruns and canceled contracts in the unit have weighed on Gafisa's bottom line. The fourth-quarter cancellations were the lowest since at least 2012.

Gafisa has been working to rein in expenses and boost margins in recent quarters after a rapid expansion into untried regions outside its base in Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous, industrialized and wealthy region.   Continuación...