Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Co. rebounded from a difficult final quarter of 2018 to post significant increases in total carats sold, leading to a big rise in gross proceeds. Stornoway in Q1 2019 sold 429,506 total carats at two tender sales a Bonas tender house in Antwerp, earning about US$35 million (C$47 million) at an average price of US$83 per carat (C$110 per carat).
Signet Jewelers, North America's largest retail chain for diamond jewelry, endured an uninspiring fourth quarter as weak holiday sales weighed down revenues, sending the jewelry group to a combined 6% loss in Q4 and a 0.1% loss on Fiscal Year 2019. Signet's total Q4 sales (in the 13 weeks ended February 2, 2019) were $2.15 billion, down $138.4 million or 6.0% on a reported basis and 5.4% on a constant currency basis.
Firestone Diamonds increased its first half (ended 31 December 2018) revenue to $27.4 million from three sales at First Element tender house in Antwerp despite soft prices, the miner announced late last week. Firestone managed to top the $26.0 million from four sales in H1 last year through an increase in the volume of carats sold, while the average value per carat fell 4% to $71 from $74 per carat in H1 2018, impacted by prices for smaller, lower value diamonds. The miner also managed to decrease it loss for the period to $6.6 million from $7.8 million in H1 2018.
Eurostar Diamond Traders, one of the largest diamond companies in Antwerp, last week was declared bankrupt by the Antwerp Corporate Court. The manufacturing company, established in 1978 by Kaushik Mehta, said to have debts reaching up to half a billion euro ($560 million).
Tiffany & Co. last week reported record sales and net earnings for the full year 2018 despite its holiday sales failing to meet expectations due to external events, economic uncertainties, and market volatilities. Worldwide net sales rose by 7%, reaching a record $4.4 billion due to growth in all regions and higher spending attributed to local customers and foreign tourists. Net earnings were $586 million, compared with $370 million in the prior year, notwithstanding a 1% worldwide net sales decline to $1.3 billion.
The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, a joint venture between Mountain Province (49%) and De Beers Canada (51%), exceeded expectations in its first full year of commercial production, setting records for carat recoveries and sales despite a challenging end of year 2018. Mountain Province reports that the Gahcho Kué Mine exceeded its upper end of FY2018 guidance of tonnes treated, processing 3,194,000 tonnes (2017: 2,775,000 tonnes) and recovered 17% more carats than last year, settting a new high for the mine of 6,937,000 carats (2017: 5,934,000 carats) with a 4% increase in the average grade.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has released it results for FY 2018, reporting a 6% increase in the value of diamonds sold to $4.4 billion, and a 9% rise in revenue despite an 8% decline in the volume of goods sold, totalling 38.1 million carats for the year. The miner attributes the increase in sales and revenue to stronger prices and improved mix of gem-quality diamonds. While Q4 diamond sales increased 34% q-o-q to 9.0 m carats, the main increase was from industrial quality diamonds, causing Q4 sales to decline 13% q-o-q (-7% y-o-y) to $824 million as large-size diamond sales fell.
Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered four high-quality diamonds larger than 100 carats in January 2018 and never looked back, riding a record number of +100-carat diamond recoveries in a single calendar year (15) to increased revenues and profit, but they have declined to pay out a dividend. The first big find of the year was the exceptional 910-carat Lesotho Legend, which the miner sold last March for $40 million.
Rio Tinto's 2018 diamond profits increased by 28% to $118 million from $92 million a year earlier despite a slight downtick in revenues from diamond sales, which fell 1.6% to $695 million from $706 million in 2017. The miner's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 4.9% to $301 million from $287 million in 2017, while capital expenditures declined 25% to $64 million..
Sarine Technologies recorded a fourth-quarter net profit of $93,000, down 85% from $613,000 the year before, citing challenging industry conditions, weak sentiment in the midstream and a downturn in consumer spending in China due to uncertainties stemming from the impact of trade tariffs. The company notes that credit for India’s manufacturing sector tightening, Indian Rupee exchange rate volatility and the 'legitimization' of laboratory-grown diamonds all conspired to generate weak results.
De Beers reported a 4% rise in total revenue for FY 2018, reaching $6.1 billion, but its earnings slid by 13% to $1.25 billion driven by expenditures such as the $87 million acquisition of Peregrine Diamonds and the launch of Lightbox Jewelry. Rough diamond sales rose by 4% to $5.4 billion (2017: $5.2 billion), driven by improved overall consumer demand for diamond jewelry and a 1% increase in the average rough diamond price index.
South Africa-focused miner Petra Diamonds has seen its shares tumble 27% since Monday's announcement of its H1 2019 results, despite an 8% increase in sales and a 10% rise in production. The culprit? Near-historical low prices earned from its rough diamonds from its flagship Cullinan mine. Prices achieved from the miner's Cullinan goods slumped 31% compared to last year, earning just $96 per carat, and compared to a nine-year average of $140 per carat from 2009 to 2018, the miner said.
The De Beers Group has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production increased by nearly 7% to 35.3 million carats, while a 4% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 2% to $5.4 billion. They said the rise is production was due to a planned increase at the Orapa mine, although the group's output was in the lower half of the production guidance range of 35 to 36 million carats.
Canadian miner Mountain Province's production and sales of rough diamonds from the Gahcho Kué mine underwhelmed in the third quarter of 2018, as production was on the downside of flat during the quarter, while sales increased against a low comparison point in 2017 and the cost of production rose. Sales increased by 15% to US$57 million (C$75 million) at an average price of US$73 per carat, but net income dropped by 37% to US$13 million (C$17.5m) from US$21million (C$16m).
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reported a steep decline in rough diamond sales during the month of October, falling 28% year-over-year and 29% from September, but has still recorded 6% growth during the first ten months of the year. In October, ALROSA Group sold $243 million worth of rough diamonds compared with $326 million in October 2017, and $331 million last month. “In October, demand for small-size inexpensive rough diamonds continued to remain weak," says ALROSA Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov.
Jewelry maker Pandora, known for its charm bracelets, reported Tuesday that Q3 sales in the U.S. fell 12% year-over-year to $153.2 million (DKK 1 billion), while worldwide revenue decreased 3% in local currency to $765.8 million (DKK 5 billion). The "unsatisfactory" results prompted the company to reduce its sales and profit margin guidance for this year following revenue declines in consecutive quarters, and is now saying it expected sales in local currencies to increase by between 4 and 7 percent this year, compared with the 7-10 percent it previously projected.
Firestone Diamonds posted solid production amid middling sales results in Q1 2019 (ended 30 September 2018), but its majority-owned Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho got off a strong start to the second quarter after selling its third most valuable stone to date. The start of Q2 was highlighted by the second sale of the 2019 financial year, where the diamond miner sold a total of 102,835 carats for US$8.2 million on October 26, including a 68 carat white diamond, the third most valuable stone sold to date for just under US$10 million, and a 20 carat yellow diamond.
Petra Diamonds, with mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, has released a promising and much-needed set of results from Q1 2019 (July 1 to September 30), reporting a 21% increase in diamond production and a 22% rise in revenue in the last three months.
Firestone Diamonds has just completed its first full year of production at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine (75% Firestone, 25% Government of Lesotho), ending an "eventful" year with mixed results. The company describes their first full year of production as "characterised by exceptional operational performance", as Firestone achieved their carat recovery guidance and exceeded their tonnage treated while operating at significantly lower cost than expected, and maintained an unblemished safety record.
Despite its annual revenue rising 25% and its profit from mining activities up 33% to US$205.1 million, the miner recorded significant losses ($203.1 million) and Petra Diamonds' CEO Johan Dippenaar will step down after 12 years at the helm following a slump in the company’s share price this year. The miner was forced to raise $170m in capital from shareholders last May to shore up its heavy debt, which has run up over the $600 million mark and accelerated the company’s share price fall this calendar year, which is down by 43%.
Tiffany & Co outstripped quarterly estimates for profit and revenue and raised its full-year earnings forecast as the retailer sold more jewelry in China and the Americas. Second-quarter global net sales rose 12% to $1.1 billion, with comp sales rising 8%, and first half sales net sales increased 13% to $2.1 billion, comp sales rising 9%, reflecting geographically broad-based growth and increases in all product categories.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA said its first half net profit rose by 19 percent year on year to $865 million (RUB 58.3 billion) as higher average prices for gem-quality stones helped offset a drop in the volume of sales. Revenue increased by 8% to $2.5 billion (RUB 168 bn) on the back of higher average prices and a better sales mix, despite the 8% drop in sales by volume, with sales of gem-quality diamonds shrinking by 14%. ALROSA's EBITDA grew by 22% to $1.3 billion (RUB 89.1 bn), supported by higher top line and lower production costs.
Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds reported a net loss of US$27.5 million (C$35.9 million) during the second quarter despite higher revenues, as the transition to underground mining at the Renard mine impacted the company's carat recoveries and sales during the first half of the year. The move underground has taken longer than anticipated, as equipment availability and management problems have slowed their progress. The recorded loss compares unfavorably to the $3.1 million in profit the company achieved in the second quarter last year.
Despite a slight uptick in revenues (to $3.2 billion from $3.1 billion), higher production costs weighed down De Beers' first half underlying earnings (EBITDA/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) by 9% percent, falling to $712 million from $786 million. While the company's top representatives emphasized its strong first half both operationally and financially, with continued growth in consumer demand, De Beers CFO Nimesh Patel attributed the decline in EBITA "principally" to "the stronger [South African] rand.
Petra Diamonds posted a 21% rise in revenue to $576.4 million for the twelve months to June 30 from $477 million a year earlier, citing higher diamond prices (+2% on like-for-like basis) and production (+15%); but the miner worried investors by saying it expects to produce 4.6 million to 4.8 million carats in 2019, well below the 5.0-5.3 million carats it forecast in July last year.
Calling financial year 2018 a "year of recovery", leading jewelry retail group Chow Tai Fook, a bellweather for China's jewelry landscape, reaped the benefits of the retail market in Greater China regaining its upward momentum, leading to a vibrant performance for the group. Chow Tai Fook’s sales and profit rose during the fiscal year in the rising Chinese market, with the retail sector also noting increased tourism to Hong Kong as having a positive impact on sales.
Signet Jewelers recorded a $77.2 million (5.5%) increase in overall sales during the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2018 (Q1 fiscal 2019), yet profits tumbled as the retail group reported a net loss of $496.6 million in the quarter, compared with a profit of $78.5 million in the year-earlier period due to a non-cash impairment related to the credit-outsourcing transition and restructuring charges.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) yesterday reported its financial results for the three months (Q1) ended April 30, 2018, which saw worldwide net sales increase 15% to $1.0 billion, led by gains in North America and Asia. As a result of broad-based sales growth, comparable sales increased 10%. Profits soared 53 percent, to $142 million, as shares jumped as much as 17 percent to $119.60 in New York trading, an all-time intraday high and the biggest one-day leap in almost a decade.
Canadaian diamond miner Stornoway suffered higher losses during the first quarter of 2018 as it makes the transition from open pit to underground mining, which has had a negative impact on carat production as they have moved to the processing of lower grade ore.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA saw its profit soar to $533 million (RUB 33.2B) in Q1 2018, eclipsing their profit from Q1 2017 by 40% and doubling that from the final quarter of 2017. Noting improved market conditions, the company's rough diamond sales volume grew by 43% to 13.4 million carats despite a 26% decline in production compared to Q4 2017 (-17% compared to Q1 2017) as 48% of their sales volume, about 6 million carats, came from existing stocks.
India's cut and polished diamond exports increased by 4.2% to $23.7 billion for the financial year 2017-18 (April - March), while the value of rough diamond imports to the manufacturing hub rose by 10.6% to $18.9 billion, according to figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The average price per carat in the category of polished diamond exports saw an 18% increase, from approximately $614 per carat to $725 per carat.
In an article published by Interfax Alrosa’s Vice President Yuri Okoyemov stated seasonal factors had affected demand for rough diamonds in March, which were slightly down compared to January-February. "But the results of the trading session in March are good; Q1 on the whole can be given a positive assessment," he said. "Generally the forecast for the year is good at the moment; we are expecting stable demand and prices, with seasonal variations."
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds said that 2018 has seen a strong start in rough diamond markets. "The first two sales of the year substantially exceeded expectations, and prices have firmed across all product categories since the second half of 2017," said Interim President and CEO David Whittle. The company reported a net income of CAD$17.2 million for the full year which ended December 31, 2017.
Quebec-based Stornoway Diamonds full-year results reflect “a lower diamond price environment than was originally forecast by the Corporation". The company reported a net loss of CAD $114.6 million (US$ 89.1 M) from net income of CAD $19.6 million (US$ 15.2 M) in 2016 in its financial year ended December 31, 2017. The results reflect "a lower diamond price environment than was originally forecast by the Corporation". Before the impairment net income was $11.1 million for the fourth quarter and $15.0 million for the year.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co., with assets in Angola, Lesotho, Australia and Botswana, has announced in its Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2017 that diamond sales fell 38% to $31.6 million last year compared with $51 million a year earlier, though the 2016 figures are skewed by the $16 million sale of Angola's largest ever rough diamond, the 404-carat 4th February Stone.
Tiffany & Co. reported that its global net sales for FY 2017 (ended January 31, 2018) increased 4% to $4.2 billion, reflecting sales growth in most regions - particularly in the U.S. and China. However, its comparable store sales remained flat for the year despite 9% sales growth in the fourth quarter (Q4). During Q4, on a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales rose 6% and comparable store sales were 1% above the prior year, falling short of estimates of a 2.7% gain.
Russia's ALROSA, the world's largest diamond producer, saw its profits tumble by 41% in FY 2017 owing to a variety of factors, including: a 13% ruble appreciation against the US dollar, a 9% decrease in the average price of gem-quality diamonds sold and fallout from the tragic Mir mine flood. The financial downturn took place against the background of increases in the volume of diamonds sold as well as production.
Signet Jewelers same store sales declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter and declined 5.3% in full year fiscal ended February 3, 2018, the company announces at the conclusion of a self-described "challenging year". At the same time they announced two additions to its Board of Directors, appointing Sharon L. McCollam and Nancy A. Reardon as Independent Directors effective March 13, 2018.
Gem Diamonds returned to profit in 2017 as it recovered seven diamonds over 100 carats, but the miner's prospects are looking even better for the year ahead, as today's announcement of the recovery of a 169 carat stone is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats recovered already in 2018. Gem returned to profitability for the year ending 31 December, recording a profit before tax of $30.3m, up from a loss the previous year of $124.1m; profit after tax was $17.2m (-$144.1m) and attributable profit was $5.5m (-$158.8), after exceptional items.
Sarine Technologies Ltd, one of the leading diamond industry technology developers, announced significant declines in its financial figures in 2017, with total profits falling 68% to US$5.76 million and revenues down by 19% to US$58.6 million.