Brazilian housebuilder MRV predicts growth despite recession

Brazilian housebuilder MRV predicts growth despite recession

Chamber Articles Category: Economic News Post Date: 03/15/17 Source: Financial Times By: Joe Leahy
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MRV Engenharia, the Brazilian homebuilder, is aiming to grow up to 50 per cent over the next few years in spite of a severe recession in Latin America’s largest economy that has ravaged much of the housing sector.

MRV, which is launching its largest project to date this month with a 7,300-unit housing complex in Pirituba, São Paulo, said that demand from the country’s lower middle classes for housing remained strong in spite of rising unemployment in Brazil.

“We are living through a very bad moment with extremely high unemployment that is affecting the layer of the population that comprises my customers — the person with R$1800-R$3000 of household income,” said Eduardo Fischer Teixeira de Souza, co-chief executive of MRV, which is one of the biggest builders in the Americas, delivering 38,000 housing units last year. 

“Yet demand is so strong that I am able to see growth.” 

Brazil’s recession, the worst in more than a century with gross domestic product down 3.6 per cent last year, has undermined its once fast-growing residential construction market.

Although the economy is expected to recover this year, unemployment is still rising, hitting 12.6 per cent in January. Yet MRV’s stock has risen about 39 per cent this year, outperforming a 7.4 per cent rise in the benchmark Ibovespa index.

MRV works with the government’s subsidised mass homebuilding programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida, which has partly shielded the group from the worst of the downturn, analysts say. 
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