July 12, 2018 / 10:13 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazilian homebuilder MRV to speed up project launches in 2nd half

(Recasts throughout with executive comments)

SAO PAULO, July 12 (Reuters) - MRV Engenharia e Participações SA, Latin America’s largest homebuilder, will speed up new project launches dramatically in the coming quarters, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

In an interview given at the time of the release of its second-quarter operational figures, MRV chief executive Rafael Menin said the company was having an easier time obtaining permits for projects to be launched in the second half of 2018, which will help it reach its goal for the year of 50,000 units.

In a securities filing on Thursday, MRV said new project launches in the second quarter came to 11,377 units valued at 1.71 billion reais ($439 million), up 28 percent in yearly terms.

While that also represented a rise of some 112 percent from the first quarter, the company has its work cut out for it to reach its previously announced goal. So far this year, the company has launched less than 17,000 units.

“We have a rather elevated stock of approved permits (for the second half of the year), with various projects that are about to be launched imminently,” Menin said.

In the filing, MRV said contracted sales totaled 1.53 billion reais in the second quarter, up 5.4 percent from the same period last year.

$1 = 3.89 reais Reporting by Gabriela Mello and Gram Slattery Editing by Leslie Adler and James Dalgleish

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