Shanghai Forte Land, one of the city's largest developers, has scaled up a residential project in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, in its latest move to diversify into the mainland's less developed cities. The company is boosting the Wuxi project to 400,000 square metres, about 30 per cent larger than the original plan, after winning a government tender for an adjacent site for 70.79 million yuan. It said the newly acquired 63,775-square-metre site would be jointly developed with a 255,211.6-square-metre plot that the firm acquired in September last year. Total investment cost for the residential development, which will generate about 3,000 units, is estimated at one billion yuan. President Fan Wei said Forte Land would maintain its diversification strategy. 'We will replenish our land bank through government tenders and mergers and acquisitions,' Mr Fan said. He said the firm last year acquired sites that could generate about 526,210 square metres of gross floor area, sufficient for four to five years' development. Despite the adverse effect of the mainland's austerity measures, Forte Land's net profit for the year to December surged 28 per cent to 574.5 million yuan. Turnover increased 9.2 per cent to 2.38 billion yuan. However, earnings per share dropped 11.2 per cent to 26.9 fen from 30.3 fen in the previous year. Last month, the developer raised $413.4 million by selling 146.6 million new shares - the maximum number allowed by the China Securities Regulatory Commission - at $2.82 each. The company's share price gained 1.18 per cent to $2.15 yesterday.