Formula Having Trouble Finding Buyer for Matrix

Israeli high-tech company Formula Systems is trying to sell its information technology subsidiary, Matrix - but so far, without success.

Over the past few weeks, Formula has contacted several investment funds about buying into the company, but no deals are in the works. Some of the funds said they have no interest regardless of the asking price.

Matrix's third-quarter financial report, published yesterday, showed an impressive increase in net profits over the parallel period last year, despite a slight decline in revenues.

During this quarter, Matrix netted NIS 20.1 million on revenues of NIS 350.1 million, compared to profits of NIS 10 million on NIS 352.8 million in revenues in the parallel. The main reasons for the increased profits were lower general and administrative expenses, which the company trimmed by NIS 4.3 million, and higher financing revenues, which rose by NIS 6.2 million.

"The results reflect a slump in the economy," the report said, noting that the decline in sales had prompted the company to trim some workers' salaries, including those of senior management, which were slashed by 7.5%. Although Matrix had fewer orders for computer infrastructure, integration and assimilation consulting, its sales of software increased.

Matrix CEO Moti Gutman credited the positive financial results to the company's swift response to the economic slowdown.

"The savings and streamlining, alongside an increase in the company's core business, enabled us to keep the company on a growth track and provide our clients with value even during a recession," Gutman said.

Since the beginning of 2009, Matrix has disbursed NIS 56.6 million in dividends. Yesterday, company officials announced a further dividend of about NIS 10 million, based on 50% of the company's third-quarter profits.

Formula is controlled by the Emblaze group, which is klisted for trade in London and which had been founded by presently incarcerated businessman Eli Reifman.