May 12, 2010 / 11:24 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sino-Forest Q1 profit tops estimates

* Q1 EPS $0.18 vs est $0.17

* Q1 rev $251 mln vs est $185.9 mln

* Says demand for wood fiber will remain strong

May 12 (Reuters) - Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO, which owns and manages forest plantations in China, posted first-quarter earnings that topped market estimates on strong demand for wood fiber.

Sino Forest said it expects demand for wood fiber to remain strong, as industrialization and urbanization continue to drive infrastructure and housing demands.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company posted net income from continuing operations of $43.2 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with $27.9 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 42 percent to $251 million.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn 17 cents a share, on revenue of $185.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue from sales of plantation fibre increased 22.5 percent to $156.8 million, while revenue from trading of imported and domestic wood products and logs more than doubled to to $82.9 million, the company said.

“We anticipate that log prices will continue to rebound, especially with the Chinese government’s commitment to construct low-income housing,” Chief Executive Allen Chan said in a statement.

Shares of the company closed at C$17.40 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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