SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) - Cyrela Brazil Realty SA, Brazil's largest homebuilder, beat fourth-quarter profit estimates and showed significantly improved cash flow on Thursday, despite a surge in sales cancellations in the recession-hit country.
In a securities filing, Cyrela reported net income of 31 million reais ($9.9 million) last quarter, well above the 17.7 million-real profit consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Compared with the third quarter, profit more than doubled, the filing showed.
Sao Paulo-based Cyrela, faced with slow declines in unwanted inventory, has been trying to gradually ramp up new project launches and contracted sales.
Cash flow from operations rose to 157 million reais in the fourth quarter, reversing outflows of 28 million reais a year earlier and 152 million reais in the third quarter.
Cyrela sold 3,758 units last quarter, 81 percent more than in the year-earlier period.
Net revenue fell 11 percent to 919 million reais, however, dragged down by the highest rate of sales cancellations in the company's history. That still beat consensus estimates of 873.6 million reais for the fourth quarter.
The company booked 39 million reais in one-off charges and an impairment of 5.4 million reais in the fourth quarter, which weighed on its net profit.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, fell 34 percent to 95 million reais last quarter, missing a consensus estimate of 116.3 million reais.
Management plans to discuss results at a conference call on Friday.
$1 = 3.1397 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tom Brown