First-quarter sales at Brazil's MRV rise, but launches slump

SAO PAULO, April 10 (Reuters) - Sales by MRV Engenharia e Participações SA, one of Latin America's largest homebuilders, rose sharply in the first quarter, reinforcing expectations of improved earnings in 2018.

Contracted sales rose 13.7 percent from the year before to 1.5 billion reais ($441 million), MRV said in a Tuesday securities filing, though launches fell 33.6 percent to 805 million reais.

($1 = 3.41 reais) (Reporting by Gabriela Mello Writing by Bruno Federowski Editing by Chris Reese)