Israeli defence electronics maker Elbit Systems reported a 4% rise in first-half revenue to $1.37 billion, although higher costs from research and development as well as sales and marketing offset a halving of finance costs. Pre-tax profit was subsequently just shy of its first-half performance for 2011, at $27.5 million.

The period saw a continuation of the trend for higher revenues from the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, with sales outside Israel, the USA and Europe accounting for more than one third of first-half revenue, up from 22% in the first half of 2011.

Chief executive Joseph Ackerman says half of the company's revenues now come "from regions whose defence budgets are continuing to grow, including Israel".

Israel itself accounted for 18% of first-half 2012 revenue - down from 27% a year ago - while more than three quarters of Elbit's $5.47 billion order backlog, as of 30 June, relates to orders outside Israel.

Ackerman will retire on 1 April 2013 after 16 years at the helm of the company which, under his stewardship, has become Israel's largest defence company. He will be succeeded by Bezalel Machlis, who joined Elbit in 1991 and for the past eight years has been executive vice-president and general manager of its Land and C4I division.

Source: Flight International