Lazare Kaplan Sees 108% Increase in Polished Diamond Sales

January 15, 2001

Lazare Kaplan Sees 108% Increase in Polished Diamond Sales

Lazare Kaplan International Inc. announced Friday its polished diamond sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2001, ended Nov. 30, 2000, increased 108% to a record $62.6 million, up from $30 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Net sales reached $78.3 million, down from $111.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2000. However, net income for the quarter was $725,000, compared with a net loss of $861,000 the previous year.

Rough diamond sales for the second quarter dropped to $15.7 million from $81.9 million in the second quarter last year. The decrease was due to the termination of the company's rough buying operation in Angola during the fourth quarter. Polished diamond sales, however, accounted for 80% of sales in the second quarter, up from 27% the previous year. The increase is attributed to higher sales of diamonds produced in Russia, improved sales of Lazare Diamonds and increased sales of Bellataire Diamonds.

Polished diamond sales for the first six months of fiscal 2001 reached $109.6 million, an increase of 84% or $49.9 million from the same period in fiscal 2000. Overall gross margin for the six months was 11.4%, up from 8.1% the previous year.

- by Julia M. Duncan