March 28, 2014      

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, an RBR50 company, has been contracted to supply a Hermes 900 drone to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to conduct “safety and security missions” during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games in Brazil.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the contract is in “an amount that is not material to Elbit Systems.” The Hermes 900, which features a new and advanced intelligence-gathering system, will be supplied within two months.

Brazil already uses Elbit’s smaller Hermes 450 UAV – it’s reported the FAB has as many as five Hermes 450 models – and the two drones will be used in tandem. The Hermes 900 features longer airborne endurance, a larger payload (772 pounds), the ability to operate in adverse weather and to fly at altitudes up to 30,000 feet.

Brazil?s FAB is the eighth customer of the Hermes 900, which is operated by the Israeli Air Force and other world militaries.

“We are honored to enable FAB to benefit from the advantages of joint flight operations, using both the Hermes 450 and the Hermes 900, a unique solution for intelligence missions, border protection, perimeter control of infrastructure and critical sites, as well as Safe City programs and large scale events,” says Elad Aharonson, GM of Elbit’s UAS Division.

Elbit?s subsidiary in Porto Alegre, Brazil, AEL Systemas, will provide technical, engineering, logistical and maintenance support to the FAB.

Elbit Hermes 450 Drone
Elbit Hermes 450

Elbit Reports 2013 Financial Results

The FAB contract is welcome news for Elbit amid its fourth quarter (Q4) and full-year 2013 earnings report (view full report here) that showed revenues down 4 percent year over year at $811.5 million.

Elbit reported profits of $1.01 per share in Q4, missing analyst estimates by $0.15 and down 26% from Q4 2013.

Profits for 2013 were up 9 percent at $4.34 per share. 2013 revenues were also up 1 percent to $2.93 billion.

During its earnings conference call, Elbit said its backlog increased to $5.82 billion over the course of the year. So the bad news won’t last long.

“I am pleased with our 2013 full year results that show growth in revenues and backlog, as well as a continued trend of controlling operational costs,” said Bezhalel Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems. “The record backlog provides us good visibility into 2014 and beyond. Our continued focus on maintaining an efficient operation, while taking advantage of synergies across the various parts of our organization, resulted in solid year over year improvements in our margins.

“Recently, we implemented some organizational changes to enhance our market position in the areas of cyber and intelligence systems as well as commercial avionics systems. We consider both of these areas as growth engines for the Company and complementary to our traditional defense-based business lines.”