Indian realty developer Sobha's fourth-quarter profit slumps on weak Bengaluru sales

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian real estate developer Sobha reported a near 86% tumble in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, hurt by weak sales in its mainstay Bengaluru market.

Overall housing sales in Bengaluru dipped 2% during the January-March period, in contrast to other top seven cities, a report by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank showed.

Bengaluru sales accounted for 78% of the company's total sales in the reported period.

During the quarter, the total areas sold by the company reached a 1.5-year low, which drove its consolidated revenues down 37% to 7.63 billion rupees ($91.6 million).

Net profit for the Bengaluru-based firm dropped to 70.3 million rupees in the quarter ended March, from 485.8 million rupees a year ago.

The decline marked the seventh quarter of lower profit in the last ten quarters for the company.

Sobha, which has gained 89% to date this year compared to a 27.3% gain in the Nifty realty index, ended Friday 8.4% higher ahead of results.

($1 = 83.2990 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore)