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Lucara's Profit Surges to $65M, Closes FY Debt Free

Feb 20, 2014 5:58 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Lucara Diamond Corp. reported fiscal-year revenue of $180.5 million in 2013, up from only $41.8 million in 2012. Rough sales achieved an average price of $411 per carat, while operating expenses totaled only $100 per carat. With such a tremendous improvement in margins, naturally, the mining company reported a profit, which came in at $65.2 million compared with a loss of $7.5 million one year earlier.

Lucara had a year-end cash balance of $49.4 million and management expects to use the existing cash resources to finance Karowe's plant upgrade capital expenditure during 2014. Lucara remains debt free and has a $25 million Scotiabank credit facility available.

The company's Karowe diamond mine exceeded budget in terms of carats recovered and sold and surpassed its initial and updated revenue forecast of $90 million and $118 million, respectively, largely due to the recovery and sale of large and exceptional diamonds. Karowe earnings before deducting interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $113.3 million and its EBITDA margin was 63 percent.

William Lamb, the CEO of Lucara, said, "Our first full year of production has surpassed expectations on all fronts having achieved total revenue in excess of $180 million and met production and safety targets at significant cost savings. Lucara exceeded its initial revenue guidance of $90 million by approximately $20 million, not including sales received from its exceptional stone tenders, achieving robust margins and demonstrating that the Karowe diamonds have been well received in the marketplace. Additional revenues of approximately $72 million, generated from the sale of our large and exceptional stones has further, significantly strengthened our balance sheet.

"In 2014, Lucara will continue to focus on operational excellence, cost discipline and the completion of its' plant optimization project, which is designed to enhance the recoverability of large diamonds from Karowe. The Company is now debt free, with a solid balance sheet and is well positioned to achieve its operational objectives going forward. We believe that 2014 will be another exciting year for Lucara and its shareholders," he said.

Lucara's diamond inventory was approximately 67,000 carats of rough diamonds at the close of its fiscal year, including a selection of exceptional stones totaling more than  1,000 carats. The company expects to hold its first exceptional stone tender of 2014, early in the second quarter.

Lamb added, "In 2014, Lucara will continue to focus on operational excellence, cost discipline and the completion of its plant optimization project, which is designed to enhance the recoverability of large diamonds from Karowe."


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Tags: Jeff Miller, Lucara Diamond, profit, revenue, Tenders
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