05/02/2013 01:58 EDT | Updated 07/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Brookfield Residential Q1 profit up, aided by recovering U.S. housing market

CALGARY - Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. (TSX:BRP) says it booked a $4-million profit in the first quarter, up from $1 million a year ago, mainly due to greater home sales in Canada and a recovering U.S. housing market.

The profit amounted to four cents per diluted share for the three-month period ended March 31, compared with a penny per diluted share in the prior year.

The residential land and housing company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday its quarterly revenue was $171 million, compared with $132 million for the same period in 2012.

"We continued to gain momentum in the first quarter of 2013," said president and chief executive Alan Norris in a statement.

Sales in our Canadian operations remained robust and we ended the quarter with a strong backlog. In our U.S. operations, first-quarter backlog and net new home orders were significantly higher than a year ago, reflecting the continued recovery in the U.S. housing market."

Shares in the company, which were briefly halted Thursday, were up $1.03 to $24.69 in mid-afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Brookfield Residential said it anticipates higher income before taxes for the year, compared with 2012 and expects to open 16 new communities this year.

It said the variability in quarter-to-quarter revenue is based on the timing of the homebuilding season, which typically sees more orders in the start of a year, and higher revenues in the latter half.

"With demand increasing and supply remaining constrained in many U.S. markets we are seeing increased price pressure and anticipate that the remainder of the year will continue to be strong," Norris said.