Super-Sol branch in Yeruham
Super-Sol branch in Yeruham. Photo by Ilan Assayag
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Super-Sol boosts profit and sales in third quarter

Super-Sol, Israel's biggest food retailer, said yesterday its third-quarter net profit more than doubled on record revenue as the company expanded its discount stores and cut costs. Net profit jumped to NIS 70 million from NIS 32 million a year earlier as sales rose to NIS 3.04 billion from NIS 3 billion, boosted by a one-time gain of NIS 17 million from a real estate sale. Same store sales fell 0.4% from a year ago. Operating profit was up 33% from a year ago, when Super-Sol had an especially weak quarter, when the company was buffeting by the social protests of 2011. But operating profit was down from the second quarter, marking a break in a steady string of improved performances. The operating margin fell to 3.1% from 3.3% in the second quarter, Super-Sol said. (Yoram Gavison )

Dalia signs for NIS 3.2 billion in funding for power plant

Dalia Power Energies said it signed an agreement to finance construction of what is projected to be Israel's biggest privately-owned electric power plant at a cost of NIS 4 billion. The lending consortium, comprising nine groups, seven of them institutional investors led by Bank Leumi, will provide NIS 3.2 billion of the funding for the project. The deal was closed after regulators said the lenders would not be barred from any other power-generating financing deals in the future because of their partition of the Dalia consortium. Dalia is building an 870-megawatt plant at Tel Tzafit, powered by natural gas from the Tamar field. (Avi Bar-Eli )

Data-storage company EMC slates Israel R&D center

The U.S. data-storage equipment maker EMC Corporation said yesterday it would be opening an EMC Labs branch in Israel aimed at developing innovative technologies for storage, security and big data. The company opened a similar operation in China last year. In Israel, EMC Labs will primarily be research- oriented and will operate without any product, organizational or regional EMC constrictions, the company said. The first project will focus on learning storage behavior as a way of predicting the storage needs of organizations and optimize performance. It will use machine learning methods and big data analytics and data mining tools. (Reuters )

El Al says it's hiking baggage fees to bring them in line with the industry

El Al Israel Airlines is increasing the fee charged economy class passengers for checking a second piece of luggage on flights to North America, South Africa and the Far East from $70 to $100 each way. (The first suitcase remains free ).The carrier lost about $6.2 million in the second quarter of the year, compared to $19.7 million for the quarter the year before. Between January and September of this year, about 3.2 million passengers flew El Al, an increase of about 3% compared to the first nine months of 2011. (Zohar Blumenkrantz )

Manufacturers: GDP to grow 2.7%, jobless to rise to 7.7% in 2013

The economic slowdown will continue next year, the number of unemployed will grow by 23,000 and the jobless rate will climb to 7.7%, according to the Manufacturers Association's forecast. The group expects the economy to expand by 2.7% in 2013, following a projected 3.5% for this year. At 2.7%, that works out a modest 0.9% increase in GDP per capita next yea, the group noted.The group says exports will increase by 5.3% next year, similar to the pace this year. "According to the association's forecast, business gross national product is expected to grow by just 2.3%," Michael Sharan, who chairs the group's economics committee said, adding: "This rate of growth will not produce the number of jobs needed by the economy." (Ora Coren )