September 9, 2008 / 8:58 PM / 10 years ago

Harry Winston profit doubles on forex gain, sales

TORONTO (Reuters) - Harry Winston Diamond Corp HW.TO said on Tuesday its second-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by a foreign exchange gain as well as higher revenue and wider margins.

The company, which operates the high-end diamond retailer Harry Winston and has a 40 percent stake in the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, earned $49.9 million, or 81 cents a share, in the period ended July 31.

That was up from $20.1 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-before period.

Net income was boosted by a $5.3 million foreign exchange gain that resulted from the Canadian dollar’s declines this year. The year-before results were hit by a $11.8 million foreign exchange loss.

Sales rose 7.4 percent to $186.1 million, helped by a 19 percent increase in the retail segment. Overall gross margins were up 23 percent.

Rough diamond production during the quarter fell 23 percent to 1 million carats, due to lower grades at Diavik, although the lower production was offset by high diamond prices, leaving sales from the mining segment flat.

Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway

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