ALROSA to Cut on Diamond Stockpiles in 2015

Moscow: This year ALROSA will sell out some of its diamond stock, the amount of unsold diamonds will reduce to 11 million carats from 18 million carats three years ago, while its loan burden will drop by $1.3 billion from the 2014 level of $3.6 billion, ALROSA’s acting president Ilya Ryaschin was quoted by the company’s corporate journal as saying.

Last year, diamond production of ALROSA amounted to 36.2 million carats, 39.57 carats were sold, in other words, 3.4 million carats were sold from stocks. Currently, the stock means rough diamonds being processed which are on their way for sales and auctions. Also, alluvial diamonds sold with a lag are included here. Consequently, stock reduction is not only a sale of previously accumulated diamond reserves, but also a result of accelerated sorting and presales preparations of stones.

In 2015, ALROSA plans to sell about 2 million carats from its stock. Total sales will amount to 40 million carats with projected production of 38 million carats.

Ryaschin considers long-term prospects for the industry positive: “There is growth in jewelry consumption and shortage of diamond supply in the market. We expect the growth of 4% in terms of currency next year.”

At the same time, last December proved to be a difficult period for the company. “There is an issue with the demand. Frankly speaking, realization of our objectives was difficult in December,” said Ryaschin.

The total revenue from ALROSA’s diamond sales for the entire 2014 was about $5 billion. In 2015, the growth in revenue from the sale of diamonds is expected to reach 6%. Diamond prices this year will grow by 3%, the company expects.

In 2015, ALROSA is to repay $600 million of debt to VTB and ruble-denominated bonds amounted to 20 billion rubles.

At the end of 2014, the loan portfolio of ALROSA was $3.57 billion. The dollar-denominated debt accounts for 87.5% of the company’s total debts. In 2014, ALROSA reduced its loans by $557 million. This year, the company plans to reduce its credit load by $1.3 billion.

“Our task in the short term is to reduce our credit portfolio to $1 billion,” Ryaschin added. “Major creditors of ALROSA are Russian banks VTB and Alfa-Bank, so we have no problems with financing today. Moreover, we obtain funding in foreign currency as we earn revenue in foreign currency.”