February 20, 2017 / 7:46 AM / 6 months ago

UK's Gemfields says India's demonetisation drive to hurt FY results

Feb 20 (Reuters) - British precious stone miner Gemfields plc said on Monday India's move to scrap higher value banknotes forced the company to delay an emerald auction and would hurt its full-year revenue and core earnings.

The company, which mines for emeralds and amethysts in Zambia and for ruby and corundum in Mozambique, reported a loss of $4.3 million for the half year ended Dec. 31. Revenue fell 45.7 percent to 51 million pounds.

The company rescheduled the auction for a higher quality rough emerald to the second half of the financial year due to India's demonetisation programme and cancelled the auction of another higher quality emerald, Chief Executive Ian Harebottle said in a statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee banknotes in November in a bid to flush out cash earned through illegal activities, or earned legally but never disclosed. (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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