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JP Morgan sees strong growth for Alrosa
Alrosa needs to take a greater strategic role in the Russian mining sector
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 5 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 643  

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JP Morgan Securities expects Alrosa to continue performing strongly, despite the current difficulties in the international diamond market and weakening prices according to reports. The revenue growth from continued liberalization of diamond prices in Russia should outstrip the impact of weaker global markets, driving revenues and margins higher.

London-based JP Morgan analyst, Tatiana Tchembarova, feels that Alrosa needs to take a greater strategic role in the Russian mining sector overall once federal government control is formalized. The report suggests that even if Alrosa may be holding larger inventories of rough, while cutting prices for smaller goods to encourage demand, that "prices for polished higher-range diamonds, which represents most of Alrosas production, have remained robust.”

In 2005, according to Alrosa company reports, total revenues, including sales of Alrosas share of production from the Catoca mine in Angola, grew 26% to $3.4 billion. Cost of sales grew at 42%, compared to 2004, to $1.8 billion, fired mainly by rising energy charges, a stronger rouble, and elevated costs of operation in Angola. EBITDA was up 19% to $1.2 billion.

At the start of this year, Alrosas long-term debt stood at $1.2 billion, up just $36 million on the 2004 level. Short-term debt was $596 million, up $243 million from the year before. About half of the latter figure was accounted for by debt financing related to the trading of Angolan diamonds.

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