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Mitsubishi Estate projects growth, shares jump 6%

TOKYO: Mitsubishi Estate Co, Japan's second-largest property developer, posted a near doubling of quarterly profit and projected a larger-than-expected profit this year, prompting its shares to jump 6%.

The upbeat forecast underscores a brightening outlook for Japan's property market, which is just starting to recover after a prolonged slump in prices and demand in the wake of the financial crisis.

Mitsubishi Estate's stock was up 5.9% at ¥1,712, while shares of industry leader Mitsui Fudosan Co, which is scheduled to report earnings after the close on Friday, April 30, gained 4.8% to ¥1,765.

For the current year to March 2011, Mitsubishi Estate forecast an operating profit of ¥156 billion (RM5.29 billion), higher than the average ¥146.6 billion forecast by 20 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which owns the US Rockefeller Group and several buildings in Tokyo's central Marunouchi business district, booked an operating profit of ¥62.5 billion for January-March, against a ¥33.1 billion profit a year earlier.

Mitsubishi Estate shares, more than a third-owned by foreign investors, is now up about 16% since the start of this year, outperforming a 5% gain in the benchmark Nikkei 225 average. -- Reuters
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