Our main role is to inspire consumers to consider diamonds - Jean-Marc Lieberherr

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Lucara Q2 revenue dips as output improves

09 august 2019

lucara_news.pngLucara Diamond’s revenue from its Karowe Mine, in Botswana totalled $42.5 million or $417 per carat in the second quarter of 2019 compared with $64.5 million or $856 per carat, a year earlier, consistent with management expectations and plan. 
The company sold 196,989 carats in the first half of the year compared with the previous year’s 138,646 carats, achieving a year-to-date average price of $463 per carat.
The number of carats sold was 42% higher than in the comparative period driven by better recoveries in the smaller, lower value sizes.  
“While still profitable, the smaller goods impact the average price per carat sold when compared to the prior year,” it said.
“The significant increase in carats is also due to the continued strong performance in the plant which had record consecutive quarters of production, processing 1.48 million tonnes during H1 2019.”
Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depletion and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year to date was $38.6 million against $37.5 million, a year earlier.
Lucara chief executive Eira Thomas said the company continues to achieve high margins for its diamonds and is actively pursuing organic growth opportunities, including Clara, its proprietary, cloud based, digital, rough diamond marketplace that continues to ramp up and has now completed a total of 7 sales since December 2018.
Rough diamonds with a value of $2.9 million were sold through the Clara platform during the first half and total revenues of $3.5 million since sales began in December 2018. 
Meanwhile, Lucara said it produced 109,312 carats during the second quarter of the year compared with 81,507, a year earlier.
A total of 225 specials were recovered during the period under review, including 10 diamonds greater than 100 carats in weight.  
It said its annual carat recoveries are expected to increase to between 375,000 carats and 420,000 carats from the previous range of 300,000 to 330,000 carats as a result of record plant processing performance over consecutive quarters.
Lucara said the market for both rough and polished diamonds remains challenging due to an excess supply of polished diamonds and reduced credit available in the mid-stream of the supply chain.  
Liquidity issues and concerns over manufacturers' profitability have resulted in weaker demand, while global trade disputes and unrest are also contributing factors, resulting in lower prices for rough diamonds, it said.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished