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COFCO Property's profits slump 77.14 pct as housing market struggles

(Xinhua)

14:20, October 30, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- COFCO Property (Group) Co. Ltd., one of China's major house builders, said its net profits dropped by 75.85 percent year-on-year to 14.6 million yuan (2.3 million U.S. dollars) in the third quarter of 2011.

The significant decline in profits came even though the company's gross operating revenue more than quintupled to reach 609 million yuan in the third quarter, according to a COFCO Property statement posted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange's website on Saturday.

Earnings per share tumbled 66.67 percent year-on-year to 0.01 yuan in the third quarter, according to the statement.

For the first nine months of 2011, net profits totaled about 124 million yuan, down 9.24 percent from a year earlier, thanks to the strong gains in the previous two quarters.

The profits drop comes in the wake of many cash-short housing developers in China having to slash their sales prices to cover turnover as the Chinese government kept in place a series of measures to cool down the runaway property market - including higher downpayment requirements and a ban on purchasing third homes.

House prices started to fall in more Chinese cities in September. Of 70 major cities surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics, 46 saw prices stall or decline in the month, compared with 10 in January.

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