Paint and industrial coatings manufacturer Univercol-Hillel Hoffman & Sons, a subsidiary of

Orlite Industries

, and a member of

Poalim Investments

, issued its financial reports on Sunday for the first quarter of 2001, showing a 10% drop in company sales, which came to NIS 38.7 million. The company pointed out that this drop derives mainly from the sale of its Eurosealant firm in August, 2000. First quarter results were also affected by unrest in the Middle East since October 2000.

The company's gross profits dropped by about 3% in comparison to the parallel quarter, reaching NIS 12.8 million. However, the firm's gross profit rate grew in the first quarter to about 33.1%, compared to the gross profit rate of 30.8% for the parallel quarter in the previous year.

There was a 5% increase in Q1 in sales, marketing, administrative and general expenses, as compared with the same quarter last year. Those expenses came to NIS 10.8 million. Univercol announced a net profit of NIS 2.1 million for the first quarter of 2001, more than twice its net profit in last year's parallel quarter.

This net profit is largely derived from the company's financing revenue. In the parallel quarter, the company registered financing expenses to the amount of around NIS 1.3 million, in the present quarter it registered revenues to the amount of NIS 326,000 due to realization of profits in foreign currency futures deals.

The company's equity for 31 March 2001 reached NIS 69.3 million, which comprises 48.6% of the company's balance sheet.

Univercol and its subsidiaries produce and market a wide range of paints, sealants, cement products, industrial protective coatings, and project applications in their manufacturing facilities in Netanya and in Nir Oz. Export sales comprise 15% of the company's market, with local sales accounting for the other 85%. The firm's shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, at a company valuation of NIS 52.6 million.