Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems Q2 profit rises

JERUSALEM, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems reported higher quarterly profit, driven by its acquisition of rival IMI.

The maker of drones, pilot helmet displays and cyber security systems said on Thursday it earned $1.46 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the second quarter, up from $1.43 a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.06 billion from $892.2 million.

Elbit’s bottom line was held back somewhat by a doubling of financial expenses to $20.3 million.

Last November, Elbit bought IMI from Israel’s government for $500 million.

“With the IMI consolidation, our ongoing focus on efficient operations enabled us to maintain a similar level of operating margins to that of the second quarter last year,” said Chief Executive Bezhalel Machlis. “We continue to integrate and extract synergies from all our recent acquisitions and are looking forward to further growth of our business.”

Elbit’s order backlog climbed to $9.8 billion at the end of June compared with $8.1 billion a year ago.

Elbit declared a dividend of 44 cents per share for the second quarter, the same as the first quarter.

Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Jeffrey Heller