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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gemfields Revenue and Profit Soar

Miners hold a rough emerald from the Kagem mine in Zambia.

Colored gemstone mining and marketing company, Gemfields, reported that revenue from sales increased 108 percent to $83.7 million, year-over-year, for the year ended June 20. Pre-tax profit for the same period increased 140 percent to $47.8 million.

“They certainly are great numbers,” said Ian Harebottle, CEO of the London (AIM)-listed company, which specializes in emeralds from the Kagem mine in Zambia.

Harebottle, speaking in a video from ProactiveInvestors, said the company spent the first six months of the year focusing on waste removal on the Kagem mine, the company's largest asset and one of the world's major sources of emeralds, in order to expand production at the mine. The last six months of the year was focused on emerald production.

“We had pleasing results but our decision to remove waste and look for long term is paying off,” he said.

The company also has been working hard in diversifying its product base. It owns a 75 percent stake in the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. The company also owns the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia that it plans to continue to invest in.

Alexandra Mor ring with Gemfields' emerald.

In addition to its mines, the company has been involved in an international advertising campaign focusing on Zambian emeralds and, last month, launched its emerald-focused campaign in the U.S. by having a number of jewelry designers make pieces with its Zambian emeralds.

The company’s cash balance nearly tripled to $36.7 million. Harebottle said that money will not be used for stock dividends but instead will be invested in the growth and diversification plans of the company.

“I believe right now if we could use it within the business, we’ll put it to much better use in terms of shareholder return,” he said.

Below is a video of Harebottle's interview with ProactiveInvestors:

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