December 13, 2007 / 12:57 PM / in 10 years

Harry Winston swings to quarterly loss, hit by C$

(In U.S. dollars)

TORONTO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Harry Winston Diamond Corp HW.TOHWD.N, formally Aber Diamond, reported a third-quarter loss on Thursday, blaming the Canadian dollar which appreciated strongly against its U.S. counterpart in the period.

The loss was a net $7.4 million, or 13 cents a share in the three months ended Oct. 31, compared with earnings of $18.8 million, or 32 cents a share in the same period a year ago.

The company, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange last month, said that excluding the foreign exchange impact, it would have earned $33.2 million, or 57 cents a share.

It said strong operating results were offset by a $40.6 million foreign exchange loss. Sales were up about 22 percent to $176.5 million.

Harry Winston’s key asset is its stake in the Diavik mine, which produces about 10 percent of the global supply of rough diamonds. Rio Tinto (RIO.L) operates the mine.

“As the diamond production from the Diavik Mine increases, we are poised to take advantage of the growing global demand against a backdrop of diminishing world diamond supply,” chief executive Robert Gannicott said in a statement.

The company changed its name following the purchase of luxury jewelry retailer Harry Winston last year. Both the name change and the NYSE listing are intended to attract investors.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer

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