Baran Group (TASE: BRAN) today reported an 82% slide in its second-quarter 2002 net profit to NIS 3 million. In the parallel quarter of last year the engineering company, controlled by businessman Meir Dor, netted NIS 17.5 million. Its first quarter earnings had also been poor, 71% below the same quarter of last year. Second-quarter revenues totaled NIS 221 million, down 16.1% from the corresponding quarter of 2001. Operating profit was NIS 14.6 million, down 57% from the parallel and comprising 7% of its revenues, versus 13% in the corresponding quarter. The erosion was evident in its gross profits too, which sank to NIS 31.7 million, from NIS 50 million in the parallel three months of yesteryear. As a percent of sales, the gross sagged to 14%, from 19%. Baran commented that the whole first half of the year has been characterized by weak activity in all its areas. The slump has been exacerbated by rising inflation and extreme fluctuations in exchange rates, the company added. Baran says it expects the difficulties to continue in the second half of 2002 too.