Business in Brief / Ormat Technologies to Build New Geothermal Energy Plant in Hawaii

Golf & Co. reports increased sales but smaller profits for 2014; Gazit-Globe buys rest of Brazilian shopping center in Sao Paulo; Stratasys reports Q4 loss of $92 million; Benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index nudged a bit higher—to new record high.

Courtesy of Ormat

Ormat Technologies to build new geothermal energy plant in Hawaii

Ormat Technologies has been designated the successful bidder to supply 25 megawatts of electricity from a new geothermal power plant to be built in Hawaii. The company already has a 38-megawatt plant at Puna on the so-called big island of Hawaii, the largest island in the state. The market for renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy, could grow after Hawaii’s electric company, Hawaii Electric Light, approached the state’s electricity regulatory agency and asked that the current target that 40% of the state’s electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2030 be increased to 92%. Last year, the existing plant at Puna was responsible for $44.5 million of Ormat’s revenues, 7.9% of the total. (Yoram Gabison)

Golf & Co. reports increased sales but smaller profits for 2014

Golf & Co., the Clal Industries group unit whose retail operations include the clothing chain of the same name, reported yesterday that it had managed to boost sales volumes in 2014 by 4.5% compared to 2013, but had not succeeded to translating that into increased profits. The sluggish profits were explained in part to the influence of last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip, and the costs involved in opening new stores. The jump in sales volumes was primarily the result of the company’s merger with its Kitan subsidiary and the opening of 18 stores. The company reported 2014 gross profits of 425.2 million shekels ($106.7 million), an increase of 3%, but operating profits declined by 31% to 43.7 million shekels. Net profits for the year were off by 37% to 9.6 million shekels. (Eran Azran)

Gazit-Globe buys rest of Brazilian shopping center in Sao Paulo

The Gazit-Globe real estate investment firm said on Sunday that its wholly owned subsidiary Gazit Brasil will buy the remaining 40% of Mais Shopping in Sao Paulo, Brazil for 75 million reais ($26 million). Gazit Brasil bought 60% of the shopping center, its fourth in Sao Paulo, in February for 125 million reais. Built in 2010, the shopping center has 238 stores. The transaction includes 1,150 square meters (12,380 square feet) of adjacent land available for future expansion. (Reuters)

Stratasys reports Q4 loss of $92 million

A month after it issued an earnings warning and its share price plummeted by 28%, Stratasys, the Rehovot-based maker of 3D printers, reported a loss of $92 million for the fourth quarter after making a $102 million provision for decline in goodwill following the acquisition of MakerBot in June 2013 for $403 million. At $217 million, Stratasys’ revenues for the final quarter of 2014 were 40% higher than the comparable quarter the year before. MakerBox contributed $26.6 million of that sum, and without MakerBox would have increased by 29%. Stratasys reported an operating loss of $91 million for the fourth quarter, compared to a $3.5 million loss in the comparable quarter of 2013, widened in 2014 by the provision related to MakerBox. (Yoram Gabison)

Benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index nudged a bit higher—to new record high

The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index hit a new record high yesterday, closing at 1,535.60 points, just a smidgen – 0.03% – above Sunday’s close. The broader Tel Aviv-100 index rose 0.05% to 1,360.23 points. Trading volume was just under 1.65 billion shekels ($413.7 million). The dollar edged close to 4 shekels, with a representative rate of 3.986 shekels. The euro also strengthened to a rate of 4.478 shekels. Bonds, both government and corporate, traded lower. Among stocks of note, Discount Investment Corp. shares declined by 4.8%, while Cellcom Israel lost 2.4% and Collplant Holdings slumped by 6.8%. Among the gainers was Bezeq, up 3.8%. (Eran Azran)