JERUSALEM Aug 20 Israeli real estate developer
Azrieli Group reported lower quarterly profit on
Wednesday, citing lower gains on its investment properties.
The company, which built Israel's first shopping malls and
Tel Aviv's landmark Azrieli Centre office and shopping complex,
posted second-quarter net profit of 258 million shekels ($73
million), down nearly 6 percent year on year, with its net gain
on investment property dropping to 8 million shekels from 93
During the quarter, which was unaffected by the Israel-Gaza
military conflict that began last month, Azrieli invested 201
million shekels in investment property to bring its investment
for the first half to 440 million shekels.
These investments will begin to contribute to net operating
income next year, Chief Executive Yuval Bronstein said.
At the same time, Azrieli is working on reducing its costs
by taking advantage of favourable interest rates to refinance
existing loans and raise financing to maintain development
momentum, Bronstein added.
Net operating income, which reflects the group's core
business, edged 1.5 percent higher to 281 million shekels, aided
by growth in the Israeli market for office space.
The company was been controlled by Canadian businessman
David Azrieli until his death last month. On Tuesday the company
said that the controlling stake had been transferred to his
(1 US dollar = 3.5261 Israeli shekel)
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by David Goodman)