Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems Q4 profit dips on acquisition costs

TEL AVIV, March 19 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems reported on Tuesday lower fourth-quarter net profit, weighed down by acquisition expenses.

The maker of drones, pilot helmet displays and cyber security systems said it earned $1.91 per diluted share in the October-December period, down from $2.01 a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.08 billion from $1.0 billion.

In November Elbit bought rival IMI Systems from the government for $500 million.

Elbit posted an expense in the quarter of $69.5 million related to the deal.

“We are confident that this acquisition will bring many synergies across the organization that will improve our position globally,” said chief executive Bezhalel Machlis. “As we move into 2019, Elbit Systems is a much larger company with a revenue run rate of over $4 billion per year and backlog approaching the $10 billion mark.”

Elbit’s order backlog climbed to $9.4 billion at the end of December from $7.6 billion a year earlier.

Elbit declared a dividend of 44 cents per share for the fourth quarter, the same as the third quarter. (Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer)