Interest from deep-pocketed consumers in China, Russia and the Middle East helped drive sales up 15.9 percent at Harry Winston Salons in the fourth quarter, but that wasn't enough to ward off operating losses at the high-end jeweler.
The retail business, which is part of the Toronto-based Harry Winston Diamond Corp., on Monday posted operating losses of $1.5 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31. That compared with year-ago operating earnings of $3 million.
Quarterly sales for the division rose to $85 million from $73.3 million a year earlier.
"Demand for our highly designed jewelry continues to be very strong despite uncertain domestic economic conditions," said Thomas J. O'Neill, president of the corporation, which changed its name from Aber Corp. last year. "Our customers are truly international clients. We have experienced a noticeable shift in our customer base from what had been a U.S. dominated market to one where the U.S. customer accounts for one third of our global sales."
The overall company, which also has significant mining operations, saw net profits shoot up 231.1 percent to $90.4 million, or $1.55 a share, from $27.3 million, or 47 cents, a year ago. Sales rose 22 percent to $188.2 million from $154.3 million.
The company said it is reaping the benefits of having operations that extend from the mine to Main Street.
"Our two premium assets, at the most profitable poles of the diamond business, inform each other with respect to pricing and polished diamond supply," said Robert Gannicott, chairman and chief executive officer. "This enables rough diamond sales from the mine to be priced quickly and accurately against market changes. It also connects the jewelry and watch business directly to the diamond polishers that are the mine's customers making a more efficient supply chain."
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge