Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Shares Rise Following Gains in Asia

Mega has 'going concern' warning; Hamashbir earnings boosted by travel firm; Bram Industries’ profits double in Q3.

Bloomberg

Mega has ‘going concern’ warning

The Mega supermarket division of Alon Blue Square released third-quarter financial results overnight Monday, and they included a “going concern” warning, an indication that the company’s ability to continue to stay in business is in question. Alon Blue Square released its own earnings overnight Monday, and they also included a “going concern” warning. Mega had revenues of 3.5 billion shekels ($903 million) in the first nine months of the year, compared to 4.5 billion for the period last year, which the food retailer attributed to store closures in addition to same-store sales declines. Mega said same-store sales recovered at the end of the third quarter but have again begun to decline due to problems with merchandise supply. Mega reported a third-quarter operating loss of 154 million shekels, compared to a 30-million-shekel loss for the quarter last year. Alon Blue Square reported third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 58.5 million shekels compared to 43.3 million for the quarter last year. (TheMarker)

Hamashbir earnings boosted by travel firm

After a stretch of losses, Hashbir 365 Holdings, whose operations include the Hamashbir Latzarchan department stores and the New-Pharm drug store chain, reported a profitable third quarter, in which the company earned 7.7 million shekels ($1.9 milllion), boosted by the timing of the fall Jewish holidays. Last year in the third quarter, by contrast, Hamashbir 365 lost 15.3 million shekels. Third-quarter revenues this year rose by 14.2% compared to the same period in 2014, to 772.8 million shekels. The importance of the timing of the fall holidays, when many Israelis travel abroad, was felt at the company’s Kishrey Teufa tourism unit, whose net profits doubled to 25 million shekels due the period. The situation at the group’s core businesses, the Hamashbir department stores and New-Pharm pharmacies, remained less than stellar in the quarter, with department store sales stable at 255.3 million shekels. New Pharm’s sales fell by 7.6% to 169.4 million shekels. (Eran Azran) 

Bram Industries’ profits double in Q3

Sderot-based Bram Industries continued to grow in the third quarter, reporting higher revenues and profits from its two primary businesses – plastic food packaging and household plastic products. The company’s quarterly net profits doubled to 2.8 million shekels ($722,000), while for the first nine months of the year they soared by 265% to 7.3 million shekels, boosted by higher sales abroad, particularly in the United States. Bram, which is controlled by the Bramly family, has two production plants in Sderot, on the Gaza border, in addition to a plant in France. Its household plastic products are sold primarily in the U.S., including major retailers Walmart, Target, T.J. Maxx, and at European retailers such as Tesco and Carrefour. Bram, which is currently establishing a fourth household plastics plant in Savannah, Georgia,, reported that third-quarter revenues rose by 7.1% to 24 million shekels. For the first nine months of 2015, sales were up by 19% to 74.3 million shekels. (Eran Azran)

TASE shares rise following gains in Asia

Shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange generally traded higher Tuesday, boosted by gains on Asian markets and, at the end of the trading day in Israel, gains on Wall Street. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index rose by 0.8% to 1,572.90 points, while the Tel Aviv-100 index was up for the day by about 0.9% to 1,355.17 points. Trading volume was 1.27 billion shekels ($327 million). Among shares of note, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ stock jumped 5.7% to 250.70 shekels following disclosure of the company’s plans to finance its acquisition of Allergan Generics, while Israel Chemicals shares rose by 2.8% to 19.75 shekels after the National Planning Council approved a plan that eliminates a major hurdle to the company’s development of the Sde Barir phosphate field near Arad. On the other hand, Alon Blue Square Israel shares declined by 3.9% to 1.12 shekels on a dismal earnings report. (Eran Azran)