SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) — Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. said Friday its first-quarter net profit edged down 1.1 percent from a year earlier.

Net profit for the January-March period came to 194.4 billion won (US$173.6 million) from 196.5 billion won from a year earlier, Hyundai E&C said in a regulatory filing.

Still, operating profit rose 21.5 percent to 200.8 billion won in the first quarter from 165.3 billion won the previous year.

The operating profit was 9.3 percent higher than the average estimate, according to the survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency. The estimate of net profit was not available.

Sales increased 2.2 percent to 4.14 trillion won from 4.05 trillion won over the cited period.

Hyundai E&C said it has won orders worth 6.8 trillion won so far this year, achieving 27 percent of its annual order target of 25.4 trillion won.

The builder said its order backlog reached 68.5 trillion won, which will keep the company busy for 3 1/2 years.