Slowdown in home sales
• By YOSSI NISSAN
The cooling of Israel’s housing market
caused a 27 percent drop in homes sales in 2011 by Shikun u’Binui Holdings Ltd.,
controlled by Shari Arison through Arison Holdings Ltd. However, the performance
of the company’s other operations resulted in higher revenue, although profits
The company expects that the government’s efforts to cool
the housing market will continue to adversely affects its results in 2012, but
CEO Ofer Kotler told Globes that the company’s other operations will offset the
weakness in the housing market. He therefore does not expect that the company’s
revenue and profit will be harmed in 2012.
Shikun u’Binui, Israel’s
largest residential construction company, said in its financial report that the
slowing in apartment prices was due to the increase in housing starts, interest
rate hikes by the Bank of Israel and its macro-prudential measures, as well as
tax measures by the Ministry of Finance.
“The impact of these measures,
like the land marketing efforts by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, may
have an effect during this year,” it says.
Shikun u’Binui built 830
apartments in 2011, 27% fewer than the 1,142 apartments built in 2010. It
believes that the drop in apartment sales is temporary.
“There has been
no change in the scale of the company’s activities in the sector, nor any
material change in the number of housing units under construction, because of
the assessment that there is still a housing shortage and the slowdown in demand
is only temporary,” it says. Kotler predicts that home prices and sales will
again rise in 2013 because of the decline in housing starts.25 Microsoft
execs to visit Israel
• By ROY GOLDENBERG
Twenty-five senior executives from
Microsoft Corporation will visit Israel in April to participate in two
conferences organized by Microsoft Israel Ltd. and its R&D Center. This will
be the first visit by Microsoft Research Chief Research Officer Richard Rashid,
who will lead the delegation.
Rashid has been responsible for Microsoft
Research, which focuses on basic and applied research in computer science and
software engineering, since 2000. It is one of the largest research centers of
its kind in the world, with 800 researchers in six countries, including Israel.
The research is the foundation for new technological concepts and future
products with a 10-year horizon.
Other executives will include Microsoft
VP Developer Division Suma Somasegar; VP Information Platform and Experience
Gurdeep Singh Pall; Group Product Manager Kinect JP Wollersheim; and SQL
Business Intelligence Manager Kamal Hathi.
On April 22, at the Think Next
Conference at the Tel Aviv Port, 20 Israeli start-ups and 20 new technologies
from Microsoft’s R&D Centers in Israel and other countries will be
presented. The next day, Microsoft Israel’s Be Next Conference for the business
sector will be held at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds.
unveil new enterprise products, including SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 8 and
System Server. The company expects 4,000 technology people, including
entrepreneurs, developers, investors, IT experts and CIOs to attend the
conferences.Israel Chemicals posts $370m. profit
• By KOBY YESHAYAHOU
Israel Chemicals Ltd. has reported double-digit revenue and profit growth for
the fourth quarter and full-year of 2011. Fourth quarter revenue rose 20% to
$1.71 billion from $1.42b. for the corresponding quarter of 2010, and net profit
rose 50% to $370 million ($0.29 per share) from $245m.
The company missed
the Globes-Psagot Investment House Ltd. analysts’ consensus of earnings per
share of $0.31 on $1.74b. revenue.
Israel Chemicals will distribute a
dividend of $260m. for the fourth quarter.
Israel Chemicals CEO Akiva
Mozes’s salary cost was NIS 16.3m. in 2011. Full-year revenue rose 24% to
$7.07b. in 2011 from $5.69b.
in 2010. The record revenue was achieved by
growth in all the company’s business segments and sales growth in all
Net profit rose 48% to $1.51b. ($1.19 per share) in 2011 from
$1.02b. in 2010. The company beat the Globes-Psagot analysts’ consensus of $1.15
earnings per share on $7.06b. revenue.
Cash flow from operations
fell to $1.27b. in 2011 from $1.54b. in 2010, which the company attributed to a
$165m. one-time tax payment for 2004-2008. The cash flow and increased
financial liabilities were used to acquire companies and operations, and for
increased investment in fixed assets and facilities.
sales distribution showed growth in markets which it has marked as having strong
growth potential. Sales in Asia, mainly China and India, rose 30% to $2.09b. in
2011, from 1.68b. in 2010.
Sales in Europe rose 34% to $2.42b. from
$1.89b.; sales in North America rose 19% to $1.36b. from $1.05b.; sales in Latin
America rose 9% to $666m. from $620m.; and sales in Israel rose 5% to $377m.
from $313 m.
Israel Chemicals’ share price rose 0.9% in early trading
Wednesday to NIS 43.50, giving a market cap of NIS 55b.