Business in Brief: March 11

Israel, Massachusetts sign R&D deal; High-tech exports jump; BMW sales rise in Israel; HOT net profits rise 34.7%.

Israel, Massachusetts sign R&D deal
Israel and the American state of Massachusetts will increase cooperation in the field of research & development, following the signing Thursday of an agreement between Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and visiting Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
The agreement will give Israeli companies an opportunity to enter the American market through technological and strategic cooperation with leading Massachusetts companies and through an established framework for partnership between business groups, the ministry said in a press release.
Following approval from a committee made up of representatives from the two sides, companies will be able to apply for r&d grants from the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel or its equivalent branch in Massachusetts.
As the home of several of the leading research universities in the world, including Harvard and MIT, Massachusetts is considered one of the main centers in the United States for technology innovation, particularly in the areas of life sciences, cleantech and information technology.
Nadav Shemer
High-tech exports jump • By ADRIAN FILUT
Israeli high-tech exports, which constitute a half of total industrial exports excluding diamonds, rose by an annualized 30.5 percent in the period December 2010-February 2011 in trend figures, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday.
A breakdown of high-tech exports by segment showed that exports of electronic and computer components rose by an annualized 56.9% in the past three months, in trend figures. Exports of communications, medical, scientific, and inspection equipment rose by an annualized 18.5%, and pharmaceuticals exports rose by an annualized 13.4%.
In February, high-tech exports rose 9%. Exports of pharmaceuticals rose 55% to $500 million.
Imports of raw materials, excluding diamonds and energy products, rose by an annualized 35.9% in December- January, reflecting Israel’s robust economy.
BMW sales rise in Israel • By DUBI BEN-GEDALYAHU
The revenue of BMW importer Kamor Motors Ltd. rose to NIS 714 million in 2010, 9 percent more than in 2009, and it swung to a net profit of NIS 4.7 million in 2010 from a net loss of NIS 6.5 million in 2009.
Kamor also imports China’s Chery cars to Israel, Bulgaria and Serbia, and the licensed importer to Israel of Dunlop tires. The company sold 1,113 BMWs in Israel in 2010, 13% more than in 2009. BMW sales in Bulgaria rose 30% to 445 cars.
Former Kamor Motors CEO (Lt.-Gen. res.) Dan Halutz resigned in September 2010 after three years in the job, in order to enter politics. He received a management fee of NIS 82,000 a month, and salary of NIS 1.5 million for the entire year, including a NIS 484,000 bonus.
HOT net profits rise 34.7% • By HILLEL KOREN
HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. posted a revenue of NIS 3.25 billion in 2010, 4 percent more than in 2009, while net profit rose 34.7% to NIS 106 million (NIS 1.39 per share) from NIS 85 million.
Cable television revenue was NIS 2.23 billion in 2010 and inland telephony and Internet revenue was NIS 1.03 billion.
The number of HOT’s television subscribers fell to 891,000 at the end of 2010 from 912,000 a year earlier, while the number of Internet subscribers rose to 752,000 from 701,000, and the number of telephony subscribers rose to 610,000 from 521,000.
HOT’s fourth quarter revenue rose 4% to NIS 828 million from NIS 796 million for the corresponding quarter, and its net profit rose 7% to NIS 46 million from NIS 43 million.
HOT CEO Herzl Ozer earned NIS 7.54 million in 2010, including NIS 1.96 million in base salary, a NIS 1.39 million bonus, and NIS 4.19 million in stock-based compensation.
Ozer said, “The 2010 business results were very good, reflecting the strong and steady improvement in performance during the year. We intend to continue to focus on strategic areas, including improving service, development and upgrading of infrastructures, and promoting triple-play services.”