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Harry Winston Diamond Corporation Reports Fiscal 2012 Fourth Quarter And Year-End Results (2)

Stocks in this article: HW HWD

Reliance on Skilled Employees Production at the Diavik Diamond Mine is dependent upon the efforts of certain skilled employees of DDMI. The loss of these employees or the inability of DDMI to attract and retain additional skilled employees may adversely affect the level of diamond production from the Diavik Diamond Mine.

The Company's success in marketing rough diamonds and operating the business of Harry Winston Inc. is dependent on the services of key executives and skilled employees, as well as the continuance of key relationships with certain third parties, such as diamantaires. The loss of these persons or the Company's inability to attract and retain additional skilled employees or to establish and maintain relationships with required third parties may adversely affect its business and future operations in marketing diamonds and operating its luxury brand segment.

Expansion and Refurbishment of the Existing Salon Network A key component of the Company's luxury brand strategy in recent years has been the expansion of its salon network. The Company currently expects to expand its retail salon network to a total of 35 salons and 300 wholesale doors worldwide by fiscal 2016. An additional objective of the Company in the luxury brand segment is to achieve a compound annual growth rate in sales in the mid-teens and an operating profit in the low to mid-teens, in each case by fiscal 2016. Although the Company considers these objectives to be reasonable, they are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that these objectives will be realized. This strategy requires the Company to make ongoing capital expenditures to build and open new salons, to refurbish existing salons from time to time, and to incur additional operating expenses in order to operate the new salons. To date, much of this expansion has been financed by Harry Winston Inc. through borrowings. The successful expansion of the Company's global salon network, and achieving an increase in sales and in operating profit, will depend on a variety of factors, including worldwide economic conditions, market demand for luxury goods, the strength of the Harry Winston brand and the availability of sufficient funding. There can be no assurance that the expansion of the salon network will continue or that the current expansion will prove successful in increasing annual sales or earnings from the luxury brand segment, and the increased debt levels resulting from this expansion could negatively impact the Company's liquidity and its results from operations in the absence of increased sales and earnings.

The Company has to date licensed four retail salons to operate under the Harry Winston name and currently expects to increase the number of licensed salons to 15 by fiscal 2016. There is no assurance that the Company will be able to find qualified third parties to enter into these licensing arrangements, or that the licensees will honour the terms of the agreements. The conduct of licensees may have a negative impact on the Company's distinctive brand name and reputation.

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