Business in Brief / Wix Ups Forecasts for 2015

Frutarom acquires Belgian flavor maker for $2.9 million; Annual profit at Brack Capital Properties up 50%; TASE rises in wake of election results.

Limor Edri

Frutarom acquires Belgian flavor maker for $2.9 million

Frutarom, the Haifa-based manufacturer of flavors and fragrance materials, has made another in a series of acquisitions, this time of the Belgian company Taiga, for $2.9 million. Taiga, which was founded in 1992, manufactures and markets flavor concentrates for the food industry, including leading chocolate manufacturers, as well as for the beverage and tobacco sectors. It has 14 employees and maintains production and research facilities in Belgium. Its customer base is in North America and Europe. It had $4.9 million in sales last year. The acquisition of the Belgian firm will provide synergy between Taiga and Frutarom’s flavor business in Europe, Frutarom said, adding that it would attempt to sell its products to long-standing Taiga customers and market Taiga products to Frutarom clients. Taiga’s CEO is to remain on staff to further business development efforts and to merge the companies’ operations. (Yoram Gabison)

Annual profit at Brack Capital Properties up 50%

Brack Capital Properties, which is traded on the Tel Aviv exchange but operates primarily in Germany, had annual net profits last year of 38 million euros, 50% higher than in 2013, the company reported Wednesday. Brack also reported a year-on-year 22% rise in rent revenues, to 60.5 million euros last year, as a result of the purchase of new properties and increases in residential rental income. The company owns 51 income-producing real estate properties comprising 904 square meters (9.730 square feet) of space. The company’s average residential property occupancy rate is 96% and its commercial property occupancy rate is slightly higher. About two weeks ago, the company obtained permission to nearly double the size of its Grafental residential project in the German city of Dusseldorf from 850 units to 1,600. It has so far sold 417 units there. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Wix ups forecasts for 2015

Wix, the Tel Aviv-based website design platform, announced this week that it had revised its forecast upward for the first quarter of 2015 as well as for the year as a whole. The company, which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, is now predicting annual revenues of around $200 million to $204 million, compared with an earlier forecast of $198 million to $202 million. In reaction to the news, the company’s stock rose 8.4% in trading in the United States on Tuesday. Wix said the higher revenue projection was the result of growth in first-quarter billings. It is now forecasting a shift from negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to $8.5 million for this year as a whole. For 2014, Wix reported $142 million in revenues, up 71% over 2013, and a net loss of $40.2 million, compared with a net loss of $21 million the year before. (Omri Zerachovitz)

TASE rises in wake of election results

Stocks generally rose on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Wednesday against the backdrop of the election victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. Morning trading was conducted with the release of election results Wednesday morning. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index rose by 1% Wednesday to 1,578.90 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 index jumped by 1.1%, to 1,390.00. Stock prices tended to surge toward the close. Bucking the overall trend, the Banks-5 index declined by 0.5%. Trading volume was around 1.6 billion shekels ($400 million). On the down side, shares of Partner Communications, which does business as Orange, stood out, falling 5.3%. Israel Corporation shares fell by 2.5% and Israel Chemical’s stock lost 2%. Oil and gas shares surged, in part on investor assumption that the right-wing victory in the Knesset election would pave the way for exports of natural gas from the Leviathan offshore Mediterranean drilling site and a sense that regulation in the field would not be tightened. The stock of the partners in the Tamar gas production site also jumped on news of an export deal with Egypt. (Eran Azran)