[HONG KONG] China's largest residential property developer, China Vanke Co, said its first-quarter core profit rose around 28 per cent from the year before, as government measures to support the sector boosted sales of apartments.
Vanke said in a statement late on Wednesday that its core profit was 805.1 million yuan (S$167.3 million) in January-March, up from 628.7 million yuan a year earlier.
Net profit gained 28.1 per cent to 833.2 million yuan, while revenue was up 63.1 per cent at 13.7 billion yuan.
The company said market competition for the land within major cities remained fierce during the quarter.
"The company will continue to explore new businesses in line with the development of cities, including community commercial properties, long-lease apartments and holiday resorts," Vanke said in the statement.
Smaller state-owned peer China Overseas Land & Investment last week reported a 3.8-per cent rise in operating profit in the first three months of 2016, saying it expected monetary policy to continue to ease this year.
Beijing has introduced a slew of stimulus measures to support the housing market since late 2014, including cutting interest rates and lowering home purchase restrictions.
China's average new home prices gained 4.9 per cent in March from a year ago, the fastest pace in almost two years, but that growth may slow as local authorities tighten home purchase requirements in the two top performing cities on fears of a bubble forming.
The area of property sold in the country in the first quarter grew 33.1 per cent to its highest in nearly three years, according to data earlier this month from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).