Housing & Construction Holding Company (TASE: HUCN) on Wednesday reported a 70% slide in second-quarter 2002 net profit to NIS 14.3 million, mainly because of losses by subsidiary Solel Boneh.

For comparison, Housing & Construction, controlled by the Arison investment group and its own workers, had netted NIS 47.8 million in the corresponding quarter of last year.

First-half profits were down 63% to NIS 25.6 million, against NIS 69.5 million in the parallel six months.

Solel Boneh, in which H&C owns an 80.5% stake, lost NIS 13 million in the second quarter.

H&C said that gross profits for the second quarter were NIS 135.3 million, down 19% from the parallel quarter, when it grossed NIS 166.4 million. As a proportion of revenues, the gross shrank from 17.1% in the parallel to 12.9%.

Second-quarter 2002 revenues increased 8% to NIS 1.05 billion. For the half year, revenues rose 12% to NIS 2.02 billion.

H&C is one of Israel's largest construction groups, operating in housing and infrastructure construction in Israel and abroad. Its strategy is to diversify into other areas such as transport and water treatment.

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