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India’s top developer hit hard by property slump

New Delhi based DLF made the announcement as it reported a 69% slump in quarterly profit and 59% fall in revenue. It said it would focus on selling non-strategic assets and reducing operating expenses, as it battles the slowdown.

The company said that it expected challenging market conditions would continue in the foreseeable future and its aim was to boost liquidity and cash flows rather than growth in the short and medium term.

The company, whose slogan is 'Building India' raised $2.24 billion dollars in June 2007 in what was then India's biggest initial public share offer. Its core businesses are homes, offices and shopping malls along with hotels, infrastructure and special economic zones.

Property stocks have been battered in India over the past year, amid an economic slowdown and foreign fund outflows, as growth in Asia's third-largest economy has dipped.

'The real estate industry has moved from a period of abundant capital availability to times of liquidity crisis,' said Rajiv Singh, vice chairman of DLF.

'The current economic environment has affected sentiments at a macro level, with demand from both home buyers as well as corporates being affected,' he added.

He said that DLF would continue to follow a cautious approach and focus on timely completion of existing projects but admitted that the short term outlook is gloomy and is expecting a 10 to 15% drop in property prices in the next three months.

The country's second largest developer, New Delhi based Unitech, also posted depressed figures. It revealed a 74% drop in profit last week.