April 2, 2009 / 9:47 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Harry Winston posts Q4 loss on charges, lower sales

* Q4 net loss $1.19/shr

* Q4 sales slump 37 pct

* Says lower rough diamond production and prices hurt sales

April 2 (Reuters) - Diamond miner and retailer Harry Winston Diamond Corp HW.TO posted a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by an impairment charge, and said lower rough diamond production and prices weighed on its results.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported net loss of $73 million, or $1.19 a share, including an impairment charge of $93.8 million.

It had reported a profit of $90.4 million, or $1.55 a share, in the year-ago quarter.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, sales fell 37 percent to $118.4 million due to lower rough diamond production and prices.

“Credit is the vascular system of the diamond industry. Its rapid decline last October shocked the diamond supply chain to a sudden standstill that persisted into this year,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Gannicott said in a statement.

Shares of Toronto-based company closed up 22 Canadian cents at C$3.85 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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