Gemfields will rebrand Faberge to paint profit
GEMFIELDS, the world’s largest rough emerald producer, expected to take up to two more years to have stopped the losses at the Faberge jewellery business it bought two years ago, the chief executive, Ian Harebottle, said yesterday.
London-listed Gemfields, which mines emeralds in Zambia and rubies in Mozambique, bought Faberge in the hope that the brand made famous by Peter Carl Faberge’s Russian Easter eggs would help boost demand for jewellery featuring coloured gemstones.
But while Gemfields as a whole has performed strongly since Harebottle took over as chief executive in 2009, thanks to a steep rise in gemstone prices, Faberge is losing about $1 million (R11m) a month.
“We went for Faberge because it is such a phenomenal brand focused on colouredstones artistry. With Faberge we are helping growing demand,” he said on Tuesday.
“But you can’t make money overnight after you buy an asset. It takes a while to make it profitable. We are hoping Faberge to be breaking even in 18 months to two years.”
Harebottle said the company was now working on a revamp for Faberge which included new store designs and locations with new products and pricings to create a more modern-brand identity.
Although Gemfields is aiming to increase the number of Faberge stores from five to about 12 to 15 in the next few years, it is not looking to grow it further.
“Faberge is always going to be a fragment of our sales and I don’t want to compete with our customers but jointly grow our business,” Harebottle said. – Reuters
This Coronation Egg is a Faberge icon.