Guangdong developer China Ao-yuan Property Group yesterday said net profit rose 101 per cent to 602.4 million yuan (HK$671.37 million) last year as strong demand boosted sales and prices. Profit surpassed the company's forecast of 542 million yuan when it went public in October last year. Aoyuan booked revenue of 2.49 billion yuan from sales of 382,000 square metres of homes in terms of gross floor area. It aimed to complete and book revenue from sales of 700,000 to 800,000 sqmetres this year. It estimates revenue from property sales at 4 billion yuan to 5 billion yuan. Chief financial officer Parry Tse said the group had locked in 600 million yuan from the sale of 80,000 sqmetres, about 10 per cent of the target. An analyst said the company met his profit projection but might miss his forecast for this year because of ample new supply and sluggish transactions in recent months. His estimate of Aoyuan's sales for this year is 600,000 sqmetres. It sold homes for an average of 6,500 yuan per square metre last year. The price dropped more than 25 per cent off the peak in September to 6,700 yuan per square metre in December but was still higher than the 5,600 yuan in January. Aoyuan plans to start contracted sales of eight projects this year. Chairman Guo Ziwen expects the average price to stay above 6,500 yuan per square metre this year, adding that it was 6,700 yuan in the first quarter. Mr Guo said the group aimed to increase revenue from investment properties to 10 per cent of the total within the next three years. Turnover rose 183 per cent to 2.5 billion yuan last year from 883.73 million yuan in 2006. Aoyuan will pay a final dividend of 5.5 fen per share. The company has a land bank that can be developed into 5.5 million sq metres of property, enough to sustain annual growth of 50 per cent over the next three years. Shares of Aoyuan rose 3.77 per cent to end at HK$2.48 yesterday.