Country Garden Holdings is expected to report a decline in net profit for 2008 - a year plagued by falling property sales on the mainland - but analysts have a brighter outlook for this year.

The developer, which specialises in large-scale residential developments in Guangdong province, was expected to see a 9.78% fall to HK$3.99bn, according to the mean estimate by Reuters Thomson. But some analysts forecast a decline of as much as 69%.

'The steep decline in property prices in Guangdong province has overshadowed the management's strong sales efforts over the past 15 months,' said David Ng, the head of regional property research at Royal Bank of Scotland.

South China Morning Post