Brazil builder MRV moves into big cities as rivals retreat
SAO PAULO, March 7 (Reuters) - MRV Engenharia SA, Brazil's largest builder of low-income housing, plans to launch more projects this year in big cities, where it has bought up land as the real estate market cooled in recent years, according to a senior executive.
Co-Chief Executive Rafael Menin said on Monday that the share of big city developments will rise from about 30 percent of new projects last year, although a majority of new construction will still be concentrated in smaller cities.
"We have been more aggressive in bigger cities. As the competition there eases, we will be launching more in those cities," Menin said in a telephone interview regarding earnings.
MRV on Monday reported fourth-quarter net income of 140 million reais ($37 million), up 36 percent from a year earlier and above the average forecast of 125 million reais in a Reuters poll of six analysts.
A focus on affordable housing, which continues to receive government subsidies despite a broader austerity push, has helped MRV avoid the brunt of an economic recession squeezing the profitability of rival homebuilders.
MRV's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 22 percent to 174 million reais, above an average forecast of 158 million reais. ($1 = 3.78 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Juliana Schincariol; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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