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ALROSA to retain sales volumes at 2008 level

05 june 2009

Diamond mining company ALROSA intends to retain 2009 sales at the level of 2008 despite the slump in diamond prices by 15%, ALROSA CEO Sergey Vybornov told Interfax on the sidelines of the Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg.
According to Vybornov, rough diamond supplies to the market were resumed from March 2009. At present rough stock is sold at the 15% lower prices compared to the level of 2008.
In the middle of May ALROSA Supervisory Board “due to certain factors which have substantial influence on production and commercial operations” recommended to make some modifications to the forecast.
According to the option suggested by the Supervisory Board, diamond output following the results of the year (including the results of subsidiary ALROSA-Nyurba) could reach $2.1037 billion, realization of diamond products to amount to $2.631 billion, sales revenue to be 81.125 billion rubles and net profit to be 454.4M rubles.
In accordance with the previous company’s forecast, diamond output for 2009 was scheduled at the level of $1.87 billion, realization of diamond products to amount to $2.1 billion, sales revenue to be 93.54 billion rubles (including ALROSA-Nyurba), net profit to be – 2.18 billion rubles.
The Supervisory Board forecasts capital construction expenditures to amount to 12.73 billion rubles, geological exploration expenditures to reach 2.606 billion rubles, compared to the previous forecast of expenditures to reach 12.82 and 3.07 billion rubles accordingly.
With regard to participation of ALROSA in LUO-Kamachia-Kamajiku joint venture in Angola, Vybornov said that ALROSA’s stake in JV is not direct and the enterprise was operating with no profit therefore the company is considering options to withdraw from the venture. ALROSA currently has 45% stake in the Angolan project, the rest 55% to be owned by Eskom.
Concerning the sale of ALROSA’s controlling stake in Sakhaneftegaz OJSC which was planned in May, Vybornov claimed that the buyer had been found and advanced negotiations being held. The transaction will be announced soon, but the buyer was not specified by Vybornov.
Another non-core asset to be sold by the end of July this year: the buyer of ZAO Irelyakhneft is a medium-sized oil company.
Vybornov stressed that ALROSA would not raise borrowed funds and is going to reduce its debt. Since the beginning of 2009 ALROSA was attracting only short-term loans.
Vybornov added that 5 independent directors to be elected to the Board of Directors.