The Israel Electric Corporation reported enormous NIS 1.7 billion financing costs for the third quarter, compared with NIS 576 million for the corresponding quarter of 2000.

The state-run company said that it lost NIS 180 million in the third quarter, compared with netting NIS 154 million in the parallel.

For the first nine months of the year, it lost NIS 237.5 million, compared with netting NIS 235 million in the parallel period of 2000.

Chairman Eli Landau explained that the nine-month loss was due to climbing financing costs caused by the shekel's weakening against the dollar. He clarified that the loss was entirely divorced from the company's regular power-related operations.

Income from electricity sales was NIS 3.01 billion in the quarter, 2% down from the NIS 3.07 billion sales posted for the parallel.

For the nine months electricity sales totaled NIS 7.827 billion, about the same as in the parallel period.

Quarterly operating profit came to NIS 1.18 billion, 24% better than in the parallel three months of last year.