Q4 and 12M 2018 operating results


Moscow, 24 January 2019 – ALROSA, a global leader in diamond production, reports diamond production volume in 2018 at 36.7 m carats and sales of 38.1 m carats (down 8%). Sales proceeds increased by 6% to $4.5 bn.

  • In Q4 2018, diamond production decreased by 2% q-o-q (up 2% y-o-y) to 10.3 m carats driven by the seasonal suspension of production at alluvial deposits, which was almost fully offset by increased output at underground mines.

  • In 12M 2018, production declined by 7% to 36.7 m carats due to the shutdown of the Mir underground mine (UM) and the completion of open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe.
  • In Q4 2018, the volume of processed ore and gravels went down 2.3 times q-o-q (up 3% y-o-y) to 7.5 m tonnes, due to the seasonal suspension of production at alluvial deposits.
  • In 12M 2018, it grew by 3% to 40.5 m tonnes mainly due to increased gravel processing at Almazy Anabara alluvial deposits (up 8%) and Mirny Division (up 10%).
  • In Q4 2018, the average diamond grade per tonne of ore increased 2.3 times q-o-q (down 0.2% y-o-y) to 1.38 cpt, mainly due to the seasonal suspension of production at alluvial deposits.
  • In 12M 2018, the average diamond grade was flat at 0.91 cpt. A 10% y-o-y decrease was mainly driven by the shutdown of the Mir underground mine in August 2017 and increased production at lower-grade assets.
  • Q4 rough diamond sales (ex. polished diamond sales) were 9 m carats (up 34% q-o-q), including 5.3 m carats of gem-quality diamonds (up 12% q-o-q) and 3.7 m carats of industrial diamonds (up 87% q-o-q).
  • 12M diamond sales were 38.1 m carats (down 8% y-o-y), including 26.4 m carats of gem-quality diamonds (down 12% y-o-y) and 11.7 m carats of industrial diamonds (up 5% y-o-y).
  • Diamond inventories at the end of 2018 saw a seasonal increase of 10% q-o-q (down 6% y-o-y) to 17 m carats.
  • In Q4 2018, average realised prices [1] for gem-quality diamonds fell by 23% q-o-q (up 10% y-o-y) to $153/ct due to a lower share of large diamonds sales.
  • In 12M 2018, the average realised prices grew by 21% and reached $164/ct.
  • The diamond price index in 12M 2018 gained 3.7% on the back of recovering diamond demand.
  • In value terms, Q4 sales declined by 13% q-o-q to $845 m (down 7% y-o-y), with diamond sales (ex. polished diamonds) amounting to $824 m.
  • 12M total sales increased by $241 m (up 6% y-o-y) to $4,507 m. Diamond sales rose by $242 m, despite lower sales in carats by 8%.
  •  2019 forecast: production outlook is expected at 38 m carats (up 4%).

Market overview

  • In 9M 2018, the global diamond jewellery market grew by 5% y-o-y. North America, the world’s largest diamond jewellery consumer, showed stable sales growth through the year, up 5% over 9M 2018.
  • In most of the South Eastern Asia, including India, the diamond jewellery sales growth slowed down, with some countries showing a decline triggered by the devaluation of local currencies against the US dollar. High demand in China in early 2018 drove a 7% sales growth in the region in 9M 2018. The preliminary data on the diamond jewellery sales in China in Q4 2018 show further decline.
  • The trend of weaker demand for lower-priced stones that emerged in Q3 continued into Q4 2018. Demand for rough diamonds echoed the situation on the polished diamond market, where uncertified melee diamonds saw the strongest price decline due to oversupply, weak rupee and lower liquidity in India. Lower prices for small-size diamonds coupled with flat personnel expenses decreased the profitability of melee diamond polishing.

Data on Q4 2018 and 12M 2018 production, sales, prices, and inventories are preliminary and may be updated. Data on the diamond market is the Company’s estimate.

[1] Average realised prices (sales revenue divided by sales volumes into carat terms) is also impacted by changes in the product mix throughout the reported period.


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