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Taavura, Israel's largest haulage company, posted cumulative net profits of NIS 200 million from 1998-2003 on cumulative revenues of NIS 4.8 billion, according to a prospectus obtained by Haaretz.

The prospectus was prepared for a NIS 300 million bond issue to institutional investors that took place about 10 days ago. Until now, the privately owned company's financial data have never been made public.

Taavura, one of the largest privately held companies in Israel, is owned by the Livnat family and Mashav Initiating and Development, a subsidiary of Clal Industries. The Livnats are also partners with Nochi Dankner's Ganden in the controlling stake of IDB, and one of the goals of the bond issue - which it achieved - was to raise money to repay a NIS 131 million loan.

During the first nine months of 2003, Taavura posted revenues of NIS 557 million and net profits of NIS 28 million. That compares to revenues of NIS 544 million and profits of NIS 17.7 million during the same period of 2002. The company predicted that for 2003 as a whole, it will post revenues of NIS 781 million and net earnings of NIS 35 million, up from revenues of NIS 731 million and earnings of NIS 32 million in 2002.

Yield on capital in 2003 was 21.6 percent, up from 16.1 percent in 2002 and 15.2 percent in 2001. Only once since 1998 has it posted a higher yield - in 2000, when it reached 23.4 percent.

Taavura's equity totals NIS 150 million, while its balance-sheet totals NIS 755 million, including NIS 226 million in liabilities to the banks.

In a recent valuation prepared for IDB Holding Corporation, Prof. Yitzhak Swary and Kesselman Financial Services valued Taavura at NIS 540 million, or about 15 times its anticipated net earnings for 2003. A more conservative estimate, of 10 times its annual earnings, would give the company a value of NIS 350 million.

In addition to road haulage, Taavura's fields of activity include rigging and installation engineering, earthworks for infrastructure, mining and quarrying, and dredging and underwater excavations. It also owns several subsidiaries, including Maman, Israel's only air cargo terminal operator; Tashtit, which imports and services DAF trucks and Liebherr excavators and cranes; Universal Truck Israel, which imports Isuzu, GMC and Grumman trucks; and Explosive Industries, which manufactures explosives for both military and civilian use.