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SAO PAULO, May 12 (Reuters) - MRV Engenharia SA, Brazil's largest builder of low-income housing, posted a rise in profit on Thursday as the company focused new construction in cities where it had a smaller footprint, looking to win market share in a downturn.
MRV's first-quarter net income rose 21 percent from a year earlier to 128 million reais ($37 million) as the company clamped down on costs as sales stagnated.
Net revenue slipped 5 percent from a year earlier due to fewer new project launches, but Co-Chief Executive Rafael Menin said new construction would recover soon, especially in cities where MRV has fewer operations due its recent arrival.
"As operations mature in younger cities, we can gain market share," said Menin, laying out a strategy to keep growing despite Brazil's worst recession in decades.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 14 percent from a year earlier to 151 million reais.
$1 = 3.48 Brazilian reais Reporting by Juliana Schincariol; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Bill Rigby