BEIJING, March 10 Zhongnan Group, one of China's
largest builders, targets a 30 percent jump in revenue this
year, topping 100 billion yuan ($15 bln), as it benefits from
fresh spending on roads and hospitals, a senior executive said.
Lu Guiqing, who joined the company as general manager from
builder China State Construction Engineering Corporation last
month, told Reuters that the privately run firm was also bullish
on the property market.
"I think we will be able to see 10-20 percent growth in
housing, and with so much construction, infrastructure work
going on in China I think we will be able to see a 30-50 percent
jump there," he said on the sidelines of China's annual meeting
"We aim to cross 100 billion (yuan) in revenue this year,"
Zhongnan Group, whose listed subsidiary is Jiangsu Zhongnan
Construction Group Co Ltd, reported revenues of 75.5
billion yuan in 2016, according to its website. It is one of
China's biggest builders with assets of 100 billion yuan last
Property development accounts for over 60 percent of its
revenue, while infrastructure construction makes up about a
quarter, Lu said.
Chinese building companies have benefited from a red-hot
property market and from a ramp up in infrastructure spending as
the government has sought to stave off a sharp economic
Real estate investment rose 6.9 percent in 2016 as property
sales in China saw the fastest annual growth in seven years, and
the government plans to invest a further 1.2 trillion yuan
between 2016 and 2018 to develop information
"I'm still optimistic about the real estate industry, China
is at a stage of development where we have not seen an end to
urbanization," Lu said.
He is not worried by the government's forecast for economic
growth of 6.5 percent this year, its slowest in 26 years.
"China's economy has experienced 30 years of high-speed
growth ... it's normal for it to slow," he said. "Of course (the
construction business) won't be flourishing as much as past
years, but I don't think it will be too uncomfortable."
($1 = 6.9161 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Yawen Chen; Editing by Susan