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Alrosa books 40% growth in Q1 profit YOY on improved diamond prices

Leading Russian diamond producer PJSC Alrosa boosted net profit in the first quarter to 33.18 billion Russian rubles, up 40% from 23.74 billion rubles the year before, the company reported in its earnings results May 16. EPS came in at 4.47 rubles, increasing 41% from 3.18 rubles.

In an accompanying statement, Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov said the uptick was primarily due to an improvement in diamond market conditions.

EBITDA grew 37% in the first quarter to 48.04 billion rubles, boosted by changes in the rough diamond product mix and prices, despite a 5% year-on-year decrease in diamond sales to 13.4 million carats.

Revenue climbed to 96 billion rubles, up from 84.81 billion rubles in the first quarter of 2017, while CapEx fell to 4.84 billion rubles from 5.83 billion rubles due to lower maintenance CapEx and the disposal of the company's gas assets in early 2018.

Net debt decreased 59% during the quarter, to 18.57 billion rubles from 45.05 billion rubles, after the company used the proceeds from the gas assets sale to repay US$600 million of bank loans. Alrosa announced an early loan repayment of US$450 million in mid-March.

In April, the company reported a year-over-year drop in diamond production for the first quarter, largely due to the shutdown of the underground Mir mine at its Mirny Division in Siberia. The mine was put out of operation in 2017 after it flooded, prompting Alrosa to revise down its guidance for 2018 to 36.6 million carats, from 39.3 million carats in 2017.

As of May 15, US$1 was equivalent to 62.55 Russian rubles.