Business in Brief : Israel Post Moves Into the Black With 4% Revenue Increase Last Year

Bezeq’s CFO stepping down; Afcon Holdings seals NIS 440 million real estate transaction in Petah Tikva; Israelis sold off foreign shares in February; TASE brought lower by declines abroad.

Moran Maayan

Postal company moves into the black with 4% revenue increase last year

Israel Post, the government company that owns the Israeli postal system, reported that it swung to a profit last year on 4% higher revenues of 1.84 billion ($486.3 million). It had an operating profit of 84 million shekels for the year and a net profit of 42 million shekels, in contrast to a 6 million shekel operating loss for 2014 and a net loss of 55 million shekels that year. The improvement follows implementation of an efficiency plan that the postal company’s bondholders had pressed for. It included layoffs, a reduction in the number of days that mail is delivered and a change in the post office’s pricing, but also  expanded post office hours. The postal company has seen an increase in the number of parcels that are sent from abroad, and in general has seen a shift in its revenue sources, with 19.4% coming from the delivery of mail from abroad, 2.5% from courier services and 3.6% from the postal bank. (Amitai Ziv)

Bezeq’s CFO stepping down

Bezeq, the telecommunications company, said Tuesday that Dudu Mizrahi, its chief financial officer and deputy chief executive office, will be resigning to pursue other opportunities. A search to fill the CFO role is underway and Mizrahi will continue in his post until a successor is named. Mizrahi served as vice president of economics and budgeting for five years before becoming CFO and deputy CEO during the last four years. Among his initiatives was expanding Bezeq’s shareholder base, mainly abroad, the company said. (Reuters)

Afcon Holdings seals NIS 440 million real estate transaction in Petah Tikva

The Shlomo Group’s Afcon Holdings announced Tuesday that, together with an Afcon subsidiary, it has sealed a 440 million shekel ($116.2 million) agreement, its largest ever, with a client pertaining to the development of 17 dunams (just over four acres) of land in the Kiryat Aryeh business zone of Petah Tikva. The transaction includes the sale of land to the unnamed client after which an Afcon subsidiary, Afcon Construction, is to build an apparently relatively complex building on the land within three years. Through its subsidiaries, Afcon is involved in projects involving electrical infrastructure, electromechanical systems, monitoring technology, automation and communications in Israel and abroad. Afcon Holdings, the parent, is trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a market cap of about 480 million shekels. (Uri Tomer)

Israelis sold off foreign shares in February 

Private and institutional Israeli investors sold off about a billion dollars’ worth of shares and bonds abroad during February, the Bank of Israel reported Tuesday. On a net basis, residents of Israel sold off $640 million in shares abroad, $570 million of which was unloaded by institutional investors, particularly profit-sharing insurance companies. Israeli residents also sold off a net $385 million in foreign bonds, of which about $350 million was carried out by institutional investors, while individual households actually register a net gain of $20 million in the foreign bond investments. (Moti Bassok)

TASE brought lower by declines abroad

Stocks traded generally lower on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Tuesday following steeper declines on markets abroad. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 declined by 0.87% to 1,439.41 points while the Tel Aviv-100 index lost 0.75%, ending the day at 1,246.47. Two indexes bucked the downward trend, however. The Biomed index rose 0.51% to 464.29 points while the Communications index gained 0.75%, wrapping up the day at 1,047.64. Trading volume was 916 million shekels ($241 million). Shares of IceCure Medical, a company engaged in cryoablation technology, which involves the freezing of tumors as an alternative to surgery. Its stock closed 46.24% higher at 0.95 shekels on news that it received approval from the China Food and Drug Administration to market its IceSense3 technology. The company started the day with a market cap of 17.3 million shekels and ended it at 25.2 million. (Shelly Appelberg)