Yearly retail sales up 19% for Harry Winston
Toronto--Strong watch and growing jewelry sales in the United States and China contributed to a 19 percent increase in full-year total retail revenue for Harry Winston Diamond Corp., the company reported late Wednesday.
Retail sales of the company’s watches and jewelry reached $411.9 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. Operating profit increased 30 percent, from $14.9 million to $19.4 million. Sales in North America were up 23 percent on the year, aided by the “increased mobility” of luxury consumers in Asia, the company said.
In fiscal 2013, Harry Winston plans to open new flagship stores in Shanghai and London as well as new licensed salons in Moscow and Kuwait City. The company also plans to open 30 wholesale watch doors.
The company’s mining segment (Harry Winston owns a 40 percent stake in Canada’s Diavik Diamond Mine) sold fewer carats of diamonds--2.1 million vs. 2.6 million in the prior fiscal year--for more money--$290.1 million vs. $279.2 million--due to the increase in rough prices. The average price per carat was $137 as compared to $106 per carat in the prior fiscal year.
Counting both its retail and mining segments, fiscal year sales for Harry Winston were $702.0 million, compared to $624.0 million in the previous fiscal year. However, operating profit shrank, from $68.3 million to $56.5 million, due to a charge related to the Diavik Diamond Mine.
Harry Winston Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Gannicott said the company’s rough diamond prices are up 20 percent as compared to the beginning of the year.
“This is consistent with trends that we see in our luxury brand business, where strong demand for watches has propelled not only our own timepiece orders but also the pricing of the small diamonds that are used throughout the watch industry,” he said. “Our jewelry sales continue to show strong growth in the bridal and collection jewelry segments that we have targeted as a keystone of our expansion plans as we service not only new markets in China but also broaden our offering in our home market in the U.S.”
He added that the company is not releasing a full life-of-mine-plan for Diavik due to Rio Tinto’s recent announcement that it may be exiting the diamond business.
In the fourth quarter, retail sales declined 14 percent, from $132.7 million to $113.8 million, primarily due to one large transaction that did not reoccur this fourth quarter, the company said.
Rough diamond sales in the mining segment were up 24 percent to $102.2 million, with increases in both volume of carats sold and achieved rough diamond prices.
Consolidated sales were nearly flat at $216.0 million, compared to $215.4 million in the prior year. Operating profit rose 45 percent to $30.7 million.