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De Beers Diamond Jewellers 2008 Revenues +6%

Bridal Sales +46% in December

Mar 2, 2009 11:48 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Revenues at De Beers Diamond Jewellers rose 6 percent in 2008 as a strong bridal market helped boost sales. De Beers Group — which owns 50 percent of De Beers Diamond Jewellers in partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — announced in its annual report that its retail arm saw sales increase dramatically in the first half of 2008, before the economic crisis slowed the retail jewelry market. The company did not provide total sales figures in the report.

“In line with other retail jewelry, a significant slowdown was experienced in the second half of the year, reducing the annual increase in sales through the network,” De Beers reported. The company noted, however, that bridal sales were “particularly resilient” throughout the period, increasing 46 percent in December and 51 percent for the full year. De Beers said that introducing the Forever range of bridal jewelry to Japan and Europe in 2008 following its U.S. launch, contributed to the strong performance. ,

During 2008, De Beers Diamond Jewellers opened 10 new wholly owned stores, primarily in the second half of the year. New locations include five stores in the U.S., a new format store in London, and De Beers Diamond Jewellers' Japanese flagship store in Ginza. The company now operates 44 stores globally.

De Beers said it expects 2009 to remain challenging for the entire luxury retail sector. The company reported that De Beers Diamond Jewellers’ development and marketing focus for the coming year will be on core bridal and classic lines, for which "demand is expected to be maintained."

De Beers Group reported its earnings on February 20, but delayed publishing its full annual report. Total group sales, including its Diamond Trading Company (DTC) and Diamdel business units, its industrial diamond business Element Six and De Beers Diamond Jewellers, rose 0.8 percent to $6.9 billion in 2008, due in part to record sales during the first nine months of the year. The group reported net earnings of $90 million, up from a loss of $521 million in 2007.

Tags: De Beers, Diamdel, DTC, Japan, Jewelry, LVMH
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