Armenia puts up for sale more than half of valuables from state reserve

On September 24, the Government of the Republic of Armenia approved the sale of the most illiquid valuables stored in the vaults of the State Treasury of Precious Metals and Stones supervised by the Ministry of Finance of Armenia. The auctions will take...

Today

Caledonia Mining acquires new gold mining project in Zimbabwe

Caledonia Mining has entered into an agreement to acquire the mining claims over the Maligreen project, a property situated in the Gweru mining district in Zimbabwe from Pan African Mining for $4 million.

Today

SA diamond producers welcome ruling on Mining Charter

The South African Diamond Producers Organisation (SADPO) has supported a High Court ruling that the country’s Mining Charter is an instrument of policy, not binding legislation.

Yesterday

Indian diamond exporter under Income Tax radar

The Income Tax department carried out search operations on premises connected to a leading diamond manufacturer and exporter from Gujarat and seized a large volume of unaccounted data. The raids, which began on September 22 based on intelligence input...

Yesterday

New RJC standard for lab-grown materials

Responsible Jewellery Council, the world’s leading standard-setting organisation for the global jewellery and watch industry with 1,500 member companies in 71 countries, announced that it will develop a standard for laboratory-grown materials to establish...

Yesterday

Financial Reporting of Jewelry Companies

14 january 2009

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, announced a 10 percent rise in sales in the first half of the year to €2.8 billion, the IdexOnline portal reported. Net profits increased 5 percent to €864 million in the six month period. However, October sales were weak, rising 1.6 percent. These figures include Richmont’s share of British American Tobacco. Sales by the Jewellery Maisons, including by Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, totaled ?1.42 billion, rising 11 year-over-year. Executive Chairman Johann Rupert said luxury sales have been very strong noting in particular, the jewelry maisons and the specialist watchmakers as seeing strong growth over the period. “The turmoil experienced in October has started to impact demand for the Group’s products,” Rupert said in his outlook. The weaker October sales were impacted by a stronger yen and dollar. “The largest decline was seen in the Americas region,” Rupert continued. “Although Asian markets continued to grow at a double-digit rate, Europe also registered a decline despite strong sales to non-European customers. Sales in Japan were also below the prior year in yen terms but showed growth on conversion into euros.

According to the Rapaport News Agency, Tiffany & Co.'s worldwide revenues declined 1 percent to $618.23 million in the third quarter, as a 9 percent drop in sales across the U.S. was partially offset by stronger sales abroad. Sales across the Asia-Pacific region rose 3 percent to $206 million in the third quarter and sales across Europe rose 16 percent to $58.2 million. At Tiffany’s New York flagship store, same-store sales fell 5 percent, while comparable-store sales its other locations fell 16 percent in the third quarter. Comparable-store sales in the U.S. plunged by 14 percent, and worldwide same-store sales fell 7 percent. Internet and catalog sales combined fell 7 percent in the U.S. Gross margin was 56.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with 54.4 percent one year ago. The increase was "due to favorable changes in product sales mix, the benefit of the company's precious-metal hedging program, and a reduction in anticipated management incentive compensation," Tiffany stated in its quarterly report. Other expenses, consisting of a net $14.5 million in the third quarter, were higher, largely due to a $4.3 million write-off of an interest-rate swap that Tiffany entered into with Lehman Brothers Special Financing Inc., in addition to foreign currency transaction losses. Net inventories of $1.64 billion, as of October 31, 2008, were 12 percent higher than they were one year ago. The company reported this was "due to increased raw material and work-in-process inventories related to diamond sourcing and manufacturing operations, inventories for new stores and the sales shortfall in the latter part of the quarter." Management now expects net earnings for full-year 2008 to be in the range of $2.30 to $2.50 per diluted share. Tiffany is planning to reduce staffing in light of reduced consumer demand, and to trim capital expenditures in order to achieve the most effective and prudent use of resources. Tiffany expects to report its results for the November-December holiday period on Wednesday, January 14, 2009.

Harry Winston retail sales rose 7.7 percent to $57.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2009, the Rapaport News Agency says says. Gross margin as a percentage of sales remained flat at 46.4 percent. Sales to the European market increased 15 percent to $23.4 million, and sales in the U.S. rose 10 percent to $21.3 million. Sales in Asia dropped 5 percent to $13.2 million. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 7.3 percent to $30.9 million, due primarily to the continued expansion of Harry Winston's retail salon network. Retail sales for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2009 grew 18.3 percent to $213.7 million. Sales to the European market increased 36 percent to $86.7 million, and sales in the U.S. rose 14 percent to $75.2 million. Sales in Asia rose 2 percent to $51.8 million. The cost of sales rose 19.3 percent to $113.2 million. Harry Winston expects the diamond jewelry market to be "challenging throughout the holiday season and into the next fiscal year." The company maintained that it is difficult to predict the magnitude of the economic downturn.

According to (RAPAPORT) Associated Press, deterioration in online traffic to Blue Nile Inc.'s website caused one analyst to warn that the jewelry retailer may post weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales. Mark S. Mahaney, a Citi Investment Research analyst, citing data from online traffic research firm comScore Inc., said Blue Nile's cumulative unique visitors dropped 54 percent in November, following a 41 percent decline in October. Despite the chance for improvement in December, Mahaney still said Blue Nile may post weak fourth-quarter revenue. "The magnitude of the fall-off in traffic may be insurmountable," he said. Mahaney, who rates the stock "hold," with a $29 price target, said some consumers are trading down to cheaper gemstones instead of diamonds for engagement rings, even though diamond prices are declining. , deterioration in online traffic to Blue Nile Inc.'s website caused one analyst to warn that the jewelry retailer may post weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales. Mark S. Mahaney, a Citi Investment Research analyst, citing data from online traffic research firm comScore Inc., said Blue Nile's cumulative unique visitors dropped 54 percent in November, following a 41 percent decline in October. Despite the chance for improvement in December, Mahaney still said Blue Nile may post weak fourth-quarter revenue. "The magnitude of the fall-off in traffic may be insurmountable," he said. Mahaney, who rates the stock "hold," with a $29 price target, said some consumers are trading down to cheaper gemstones instead of diamonds for engagement rings, even though diamond prices are declining. In November, Blue Nile said third quarter profit fell more than 23 percent as consumers shelved big-ticket purchases because of the nation's dismal economy, sending sales down 3 percent.

The IdexOnline portal informs that portal informs that Zale Q1 sales were down 3.5% to $364 million. Zale Corporation reported a first quarter net loss of $45.3 million compared to a net loss of $26.7 million for the prior year period. Сomparable store sales decreased during the quarter 3.7% compared to the prior year. During the first quarter, the company liquidated $47 million in excess inventory, bringing total inventory liquidations since inception of the strategy in February to $174 million. At October 31, merchandise inventories were down $21 million compared to the prior year period. “Though the national economic environment is challenging, we have continued to deliver strong performance on both store operations and cost control,” said CEO Neal Goldberg. However, the company said that in view of the uncertainties surrounding the national economy and consumer spending, the company “does not believe it can reliably gauge likely Holiday performance or sales in the balance of fiscal 2009 with any precision.”