Business in Brief: Israel's Largest Supermarket Chain Reports Q2 Surge, Boosted by Passover

Delek Drilling, Avner take move closer to merger to create 10th largest TASE firm; Clothing retailer Castro reports robust 2nd quarter; TASE shares generally inch up.

A shopper in Super-Sol takes her pick of chocolates.
Ofer Vaknin

Super-Sol reports Q2 profit surge, boosted by timing of Passover holiday 

Super-Sol, the country’s largest supermarket chain, which is part of the IDB group, reported on Tuesday that its profits nearly quadrupled in the second quarter, though results for the period were boosted by the fortuitous timing of Passover. It may also be assumed that the troubles that Mega, Super-Sol’s competitor, was facing at the time also helped the bottom line. Super-Sol posted net profits of 62 million shekels ($16 million), up from 16 million shekels a year earlier. Revenue rose 11.4% to 3.1 billion shekels. Quarterly sales benefited from strong consumer spending for the Passover holiday, which fell in late April, while in 2015 it was celebrated a few weeks earlier. The company said it has also seen growth from online sales, from its own private brand, from a new logistics center and from streamlining its real estate. Same-store sales in the quarter rose 14.2%, although they were up a more modest 7.9% if the timing of Passover is excluded. Super-Sol shares closed 3.2% higher on Tuesday at 13.83 shekels (Reuters and TheMarker)

Delek Drilling, Avner take move closer to merger to create 10th largest TASE firm

Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, energy exploration firms that are both controlled by the Delek Group, reached an important milestone Monday on the road to a merger of the firms, as an independent Avner Oil Exploration panel decided that Avner would be merged into Delek Drilling. The merger, first announced four months ago, is expected to create a company with a market value of 16.3 billion shekels ($4.2 billion), in turn creating the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s 10th largest company. Investors will get one unit of Delek Drilling for every 5.32 units of Avner that they hold. (Eran Azran)

Clothing retailer Castro reports robust 2nd quarter

Fashion retailer Castro Model reported very strong 2nd quarter results on Tuesday, buttressed by the later timing of Passover and the company’s continued expansion. Castro’s 20.8 million-shekel ($5.4 million) net profit for the quarter was more than double the result from a year earlier. The company, which sells both women’s and men’s fashions, had quarterly revenues of 257.5 million shekels, besting the figure for the comparable quarter last year by nearly 19%. Even offsetting the timing of the holiday, by considering sales for the first half of the year, Castro was able to report an 11% increase over last year, to 481 million shekels.  Castro shares closed 3.4% higher on the Tel Aviv exchange on Tuesday at 102.10 shekels. (Eran Azran)  

TASE shares generally inch up

Shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange generally closed at least a tad higher on Tuesday. The Tel Aviv 25 index ended the day up 0.06% at 1,474.22 points while the broader Tel Aviv-100 index finished 0.13% higher at 1,290.82 points. Trading volume was 1.07 billion shekels ($280 million). Among the shares of note was Africa-Israel Investments, which gained 16.2% on the day, closing at 0.16 shekels. (Uri Tomer)