Gemfields' profits soar following "record operational year"

Jessica Morris
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Production at its flagship emerald mine held steady last year (Source: Getty)

Shares in Gemfields jumped as much as 5.5 per cent to 47.50p per share today after the coloured stones specialist reported a "record operational year".

The figures

Gemfields' net profit nearly doubled to $23.5m (£18.2m) in the the year ended 30 June 2016, up from $12.3m in 2015.

This came as the firm's revenue rose 13 per cent to $193.1m during this period, up from $171.4m a year earlier.

Production at Gemfields' flagship Kagem emerald mine in Zambia held steady at 30m carats, while output its ruby operation in Mozambique rose 22.6 per cent to 10.3m.

Why it's interesting

Gemfields, which counts actress Mila Kunis as a brand ambassador, confirmed today that it continues to defy a mining industry downturn with strong revenue and profit growth.

During the last year it mobilised a new drilling crew in Ethiopia, established trading centres in Sri Lanka and expanded the size of its footprint in Colombia.

The company also secured financing in the year to meet what it expects to be rising demand for gemstones. This will be used to boost production at its Kagem and Montepuez operations over the next three years.

What Gemfields said

Ian Harebottle, chief executive of Gemfields, said: "The financial year has seen Gemfields consolidate its position as an industry leader. The company has achieved record operational progress which has translated into strong financial results for the group."

"Over the past five years, Gemfields revenue has increased 380 per cent and total revenue generated since the company's first auction in 2008 has reached $717.6m, an impressive achievement given the challenges faced by the mining and luxury goods industries."

What the analysts said

Kieron Hodgson, commodity and mining analyst, at Panmure Gordon, said: "We continue to believe Gemfields offers an unrivalled proposition for investors, providing exposure to precious stone consumption growth through two world class mining operations, Kagem and Montepuez, as well as exposure to the luxury goods segment via the company's brand."

Hodgson added that the firm also offers "additional opportunities for growth through additional production sources in Zambia, Colombia and Ethiopia".