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Vanke's earnings stumble 17%

CHINA Vanke Co, the country's largest property developer by market value, said that 2008 profit fell 17 percent after it wrote down the value of some projects.

Net income declined to 4.03 billion yuan (US$590 million), or 0.37 yuan per share, from 4.84 billion, or 0.45 yuan, in 2007, the company said yesterday in a release distributed at a briefing in Hong Kong. Sales rose 15 percent to 38.6 billion yuan.

Developers' profits in China have come under pressure as they cut prices to revive sales after government measures last year to cool speculation curbed demand. Local authorities are implementing measures to help struggling real-estate companies and revive transactions in the world's third-largest economy, Bloomberg News reported.

"For 2009, we still face great challenges because of the uncertain macro-economic environment," Vice President Xiao Li said at a briefing. "On the whole, the market adjustment isn't over yet, and it will be more competitive for us."

Vanke cut housing prices by as much as 15 percent last year, Xiao said. It also reduced the amount of floor space it completed by 33 percent to 5.23 million square meters.

The Shenzhen-based firm booked a 1.23-billion-yuan charge to reflect the lower value of 13 projects.


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