A MODEL poses with an egg necklace at the Fabergé shop in London. Gemfields’ luxury jewellery subsidiary achieved revenue of $3.8 million in the period. Reuters
DURBAN - Gemfields is aiming to list on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London during the second half of this year in an effort to improve liquidity and to reach a wider pool of international investors.

However, Gemfields chairperson Brian Gilbertson said on Friday the group would maintain its primary listing on the JSE but relinquish its Bermuda listing, with shareholders listed on their Bermudan register moving over to AIM.

“We believe that bringing the Gemfields brand back to the London market will help to improve the liquidity of our stock, as well as reach a wider pool of international investors. The potential to increase our public profile and broker coverage should give a wider audience a deeper understanding of the company’s operations and prospects,” Gilbertson said.

In the results, the group reported a 13percent decline in revenue to $88.96million (R1.3bn) and reported a 3 percent increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to $33.1m.

Its net profit after tax declined by $3.6m to $12.4m, as the prior period the group benefited from $16m in gains on the Jupiter investments, while earnings per share (Eps) were $0.01 and consistent with last year, reflecting the lower profit for the period and a slightly lower weighted average number of shares in issue.

It said headline earnings per share (Heps) were also $0.01.

Gemfields is aiming to list on the Alternative Investment Market in London during the second half of this year.

Gilbertson said their results were negatively impacted by a number of exceptional items and associated costs.

“As we move forward without the influence of those items, and as we continue to focus on our core business, we expect to be better positioned to deliver consistent returns to our shareholders, particularly if the matter of the 15 percent export duty in Zambia can be resolved,” he said.

Gemfields has two main operating assets: Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) and the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia.

The group said MRM production was largely unaffected by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, delivering 1.1 million carats, of which just 34 500 carats were in the premium ruby category MRM.

MRM and Kagem, generated revenues of $50m and $33.2m, respectively during the period compared with $71.8m and $21m a year ago.

Gemfields’ luxury jewellery subsidiary, Fabergé, achieved revenue of $3.8m in the period at a sales margin of 45 percent and a loss after tax of $3.4m, improving on last year’s loss of $6.6m.

The firm said that in the final six months of 2019, Fabergé would continue to increase its digital presence, with a greater focus on social media platforms.

It said in addition Fabergé would continue to expand its global retail footprint, with multi-brand retail openings in the US, Europe, the Middle East and south-east Asia.

Gemfields closed 2.48percent higher on Friday at R1.65.