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Elbit Jumps Most in 4 Months as Profit Soars 30%: Tel Aviv Mover

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Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Elbit Systems Ltd. rose the most in four months as the Israeli defense developer grew its order backlog and boosted sales, driving second-quarter profit 30 percent higher.

Shares of the Haifa-based company jumped 3.7 percent, the most since April 10, to 162.80 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv. They had earlier surged as much as 5.3 percent. The stock was the biggest gainer in percentage terms on Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index, which rose 0.4 percent.

Profit rose to $50 million as sales climbed 4 percent to $703 million, Elbit said in a statement today. The order backlog grew for a fifth consecutive quarter, rising to $5.8 billion, even as global defense budgets are cut, it said. The company is seeking to stay competitive by boosting its focus on advanced defense electronics and optics, Chief Executive Officer Bezhalel Machlis said in a Bloomberg interview today.

“We are seeing now the results of years of preparation in making the company more efficient, in evaluating where the market is going and what the needs of our clients will be,” Machlis said in an interview today at Elbit’s Tel Aviv office.

Global defense spending contracted for the first time in 15 years last year as U.S. and European cuts exceeded rising outlays in China and Russia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in April.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Wainer in Tel Aviv at dwainer3@bloomberg.net; Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at cbendavid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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