Elbit Systems 2010 sales to be flat -CEO

NETANYA, Israel, July 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Israeli defence
contractor Elbit Systems’ (ESLT.O: )(ESLT.TA: ) 2010 revenues should
be flat from last year but its order backlog should continue to
grow in 2011, Chief Executive Joseph Ackerman said on Sunday.

Elbit, Israel’s largest publically traded defence firm,
posted 2009 revenue of $2.83 billion, up 7.4 percent from 2008,
while its backlog of orders topped $5 billion.

“We have experienced a slowdown in the decision process in
our customers and I don’t know what will happen this quarter. We
may see the same phenomena happening again,” Ackerman told
Reuters on the sidelines of a media event.

“On a year basis I think that the neighbourhood of our sales
will be as last year, give or take, but nevertheless since we
see growing demand for our programmes — defence electronics,
electronic warfare and electro-optics — starting in 2011 we see
our backlog continuing to grow,” he said.

Ackerman said Elbit had a strong balance sheet, particularly
after raising $284 million in a bond offering last month, which
would allow Elbit to seek out acquisitions.

“We would not like to limit ourselves to the size of this
kind of acquisition. We have this money for any acquisition that
we may do either in Israel or in other countries,” he said.

Ackerman noted that Elbit has had minimal impact from its
business with Turkey in the wake of increasing tensions between
Israel and Turkey after Israel intercepted an aid ship bound for

“At the beginning, we experienced a few days of uncertainty
but since then all our programmes are in process as usual and as
of today we don’t see any impact on ongoing programs with (the)
Turkish Ministry of Defence,” Ackerman said.

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(Reporting by Rami Amichai; writing by Steven Scheer; editing
by Karen Foster)

Elbit Systems 2010 sales to be flat -CEO