Made the grade
First winner: Blue Square Investments and Properties (TASE:BLSQ), up 58% this year
The year 2001 was the year of the old economy on the stock market, particularly when juxtaposed with the crashing hi-tech shares and the demise of the companies that invested in hi-tech and communications. The performance of some companies was impressive regardless of the weakness in the technology sector.
The first old economy company to fit that bill is Blue Square Israel (NYSE:BSI) and its subsidiary Blue Square Investments and Properties (TASE:BLSQ).
The leap was no flash in the pan as far as Blue Square Investments is concerned. Since the company listed on the TASE ten years ago it has continually displayed high yields. In the last five years the company's real yield was 150%, high above the Maof-25, whose real yield in that period was a mere 45%.
The story of Blue Square is the story of the rapid growth of marketing chains in Israel in the last few years. It is also the story of some highly talented executives.
If one reads the interviews Benny Gaon gives the press, one might get the notion it was he who invented Blue Square and was responsible for its excellent achievements. But the company's great breakthrough did not happen during his management, but at the time when three talented CEOs, namely Yossi Rosen, Yoram Dar and Yacov Gelbard were running the company. Though they may not be the best public relations people, they managed to turn the chain into one of the most successful companies in Israel in the last decade.