Israel's Elbit Systems profit rises more than expected


TEL AVIV, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronicsfirm Elbit Systems reported higher quarterly profitthat beat estimates due to sales growth in airborne systems andunmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as cost cuttingmeasures.

Elbit earned $1.32 per diluted share excluding one-timeitems in the third quarter, up from $1.18 a share a yearearlier, the company said on Thursday.

Revenue grew to $730.6 million from $677.5 million. Thecompany said sales were boosted by gains in its airborne andcommand, control, communications, computers, intelligencesurveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, which includeUAVs - or drones - for defence and homeland security.

Elbit, Israel's largest publicly traded defencecompany, was forecast to earn $1.12 a share on revenue of $700.3million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Its backlog of orders dipped to $5.7 billion from $5.8billion at the end of June. Some 68 percent of the backlogrelates to orders outside Israel.

"In line with our decision to further enhance theeffectiveness of our technological capabilities, we are placingincreased efforts in research and development as well as insales and marketing, in order to capitalise on the opportunitieswe are seeing," Elbit Chief Executive Bezhalel Machlis said.

Elbit will pay a dividend of 30 cents per share, unchangedfrom previous quarters.

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