India's Oberoi Realty says Q4 profit more than doubles on soaring demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian real-estate developer Oberoi Realty Ltd said on Tuesday fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by strong bookings as the demand for housing saw an upswing in the country.

The company reported a consolidated net profit of 4.80 billion rupees ($58.69 million) for the quarter ended March 31 from 2.32 billion rupees a year earlier.

Oberoi Realty and other developers like DLF Ltd and Godrej Properties ltd saw robust sales and strong project launches during the quarter despite a 250-basis points rise in lending rates for the full year.

Oberoi Realty's booking value rose over six times to 60.23 billion rupees, it said in April.

Real estate consulting firm Anarock said in a note that sales in the country's top seven cities grew 14% year-on-year during the three months ended March 31 due to a rising desire for home ownership.

"Many consider real estate to be one of the safest investment options presently as price volatility is extremely low compared to other investment classes," Anarock said.

The sector could see further growth if India's central bank decides to halt the rate hike cycle after a gruelling three years hit by successive waves of COVID-19.

Oberoi Realty said its revenue from operations rose nearly 17% to 9.61 billion rupees, adding it would raise up to 15 billion rupees via debt.

($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Biplob Kumar Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)