Harry Winston Diamond Reports Loss on Strong Currency

(Corrects typographical errors in first paragraph, analysts' estimate in fourth paragraph in a story published yesterday.)

Harry Winston Diamond Corp., the luxury retailer and diamond miner that controls 3 percent of world output of the gems, reported a loss in the fiscal third quarter, blaming a stronger Canadian dollar.

The loss was $7.35 million, or 13 cents a share, in the three months ended Oct. 31, compared with net income of $18.8 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier, Toronto-based Harry Winston said today in a statement. Revenue rose 22 percent to $176.5 million.

The stronger Canadian dollar ``entirely masked our strong third-quarter operational results,'' Chief Financial Officer Alice Murphy said in the statement.

Harry Winston reported a $40.6 million foreign-exchange loss, or 70 cents a share, from the re-evaluation of future income taxes, the statement said. Excluding the foreign-exchange loss, the company had per-share profit of 57 cents, beating the 47-cent average in a Bloomberg survey of three analysts.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Gannicott has moved to boost the profile of the Harry Winston brand by jettisoning the company's former name of Aber Diamond Corp. last month, opening more jewelry stores and listing the shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Diamond engagement rings at Harry Winston start at $18,000, according to spokesman Carson Glover.

``Due to the extremely high-end goods Harry Winston sells, it is somewhat insulated from the current credit crunch affecting most consumers,'' David Christie, an analyst at Scotia Capital in Toronto, said in a Nov. 27 note to clients.

Harry Winston opened six stores in the past year, increasing the size of its network to 18 outlets in the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to the company's Web site.

Harry Winston rose 42 cents to $38.81 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading before results were released. The shares have risen 5.8 percent this year.

(The company scheduled a Webcast for tomorrow at 9 a.m. New York time at http://investor.harrywinston.com.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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