Israel Aerospace Industries has seen a slight rebound in sales, but a significant boost in profitability, the state-owned enterprise reports.

After watching sales slide to $2.9 billion in 2009 from $3.6 billion the year prior, IAI reports 9% growth last year with sales reaching $3.2 billion.

Profit also recovered after falling to $61 million in 2009; it reached $94 million in 2010, which was slightly above the 2008 result. The rebound was achieved even though commercial markets are still below pre-crisis levels, IAI CEO Itzhak Nissan notes.

But Yair Shamir, IAI chairman of the board, adds that sales performance in the commercial sector is improving, which “indicates the start of the market’s recovery from the global crisis—especially in the fields of passenger aircraft conversions and overhauls.”

IAI management has been focused on trying to improve the company’s financial performance, with an eye to an eventual privatization that the government has signaled it wants to pursue.