UPDATE 1-Israel's Elbit Systems sees 2016 growth from Europe, Asia

martes 22 de marzo de 2016 11:23 GYT

(Releads with comments from CEO interview, adds share reaction)

By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV, March 22 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems expects further revenue and profit growth in 2016 as the European defence market recovers and Asia-Pacific remains strong, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Elbit, Israel's largest non-government owned defence firm, has seen renewed interest in its technologies in Europe, where it won several important contracts in 2015.

Its European revenue in the fourth quarter accounted for 21 percent of the total, up from 18 percent a year earlier while Asia-Pacific accounted for 22 percent.

CEO Bezhalel Machlis said the migration crisis and security fears create big opportunities for Elbit in Europe. The company offers border control systems and will also benefit from increased defence spending.

In February an Elbit joint venture won a contract from the UK Defence Ministry's military flight training programme worth about 500 million pounds ($711 million).

In Asia-Pacific Machlis cited India and Australia as markets where defence spending is growing sharply.

The maker of drones, helmet display systems for pilots, electronic warfare and cyber security systems earned $1.47 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, up from $1.03 a year earlier and above a forecast of $1.45 in a Reuters poll of analysts.   Continuación...