Emerald miner Gemfields revenue tumbles after auction delay
Oct 3 (Reuters) - Emerald miner Gemfields Plc reported a 42 percent drop in revenue as it had to delay a rough-emeralds auction by a month following a directive by the Zambian government, pushing the auction revenue into the current year.
Gemfields reported a pretax loss of $22.8 million for the year ended June 30, compared with a profit of $161.5 million a year earlier, mainly due to costs related to the acquisition of luxury jewellery brand Fabergé and higher marketing expenses.
The London-listed miner also said it appointed Janet Blas as Group Chief Financial Officer replacing Mark Summers, who has relocated to Australia.
Gemfields bought Fabergé, famed for making lavish Easter eggs for Russia's last tsar, in a deal valued at about $142 million last November and appointed Mila Kunis as its brand ambassador in February.
Gemfields said on Thursday that annual production of emerald and beryl from its key Kagem Mine in Zambia increased 42 percent to 30 million carats.
The miner said in late July that it sold a little over half a million carats of rough stones at its first high-quality emerald auction in Lusaka, Zambia, raking in $31.5 million.
Gemfields was selling output from its flagship Kagem mine across the world until the Zambian government said in April that all emeralds mined in the country must be auctioned at home.
The company had told Reuters in August that it was lobbying the Zambian government to extend its emerald auctions beyond the African country.
Gemfields shares were down 5.8 pct at 24.5 pence in early trading on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange.
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