Business in Brief

Strauss earnings up on overseas coffee sales; Castro shares jump as fashion chain doubles quarterly profits; TA-25 hits new high on quarterly earnings reports.

Bloomberg

Strauss earnings up on overseas coffee sales

The Strauss Group has reported higher quarterly net profit, boosted by growth in international sales of coffee and dips as well as income from currency hedging transactions. The food and beverage company earned an adjusted 119 million shekels ($31 million) in the third quarter, up from 81 million a year earlier, it said Wednesday. Sales rose 4.8% to 2.1 billion shekels. Strauss which is particularly known in Israel for its dairy line and its Elite chocolate and coffee brand, is a market leader in roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe and Brazil. Strauss Group coffee sales rose 6.7% to 1 billion shekels, led by an 8.6% increase in international coffee sales. Sales at its Sabra dips and spreads joint venture, which is half owned by PepsiCo, gained 7.3%. Gadi Lesin, Strauss chief executive, said the company would double production of Sabra dips and spreads in the United States and expand its coffee businesses in Brazil and Romania. (Reuters)

Castro shares jump as fashion chain doubles quarterly profits

Shares of the Castro clothing retailer jumped by 11% Wednesday on the Tel Aviv stock exchange on news of strong quarterly earnings. The chain doubled its quarterly net profits to 12 million shekels ($3.1 million) despite Israel’s war with Hamas and its allies in Gaza in July and August, during which Israeli consumer spending waned. Castro, which has a market cap of nearly 500 million shekels, managed to increase its bottom line in large measure due to a jump in sales owing to the company’s expansion and a strong autumn Jewish holiday season. The retailer had third quarter revenues of 226 million shekels, up nearly 18% compared to the quarter last year. The good showing comes at a time when Castro competitors Golf and Fox experienced a drop in quarterly profits due to the effects of last summer’s war. The fighting lasted 50 days in July and August. (Eran Azran)

TA-25 hits new high on quarterly earnings reports

Stock prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were sharply higher on Wednesday, in part against the backdrop of third-quarter corporate earnings reports. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index hit a record high 1,470.36 points, rising 1.6% on the day’s trading. The broader TA-100 index closed at 1,304.02 points, 1.5% higher for the day. Trading volume was 1.4 billion shekels. After declines early in the week, the bond market was also up in trading on Wednesday. The TASE insurance index jumped by 4.7%, boosted by share price rises at Migdal (6.7%), Clal Insurance (5.8%), Menora (5%), Harel (4.8%) and Phoenix (4%). Market sources noted that institutional investors bought up insurance shares following the industry’s attractive quarterly earnings reports. The Bank of Israel made another foray in the foreign currency markets on Wednesday, buying up between $100 million and $150 million in foreign currencies. This sent to dollar 0.2% higher. The representative rate of the greenback was set at 3.871 shekels, up 0.21% on the day. The rate for the euro was set at 4.819 shekels, up 0.31%. (Eran Azran)