06/06/2013 07:35 EDT | Updated 08/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Sale of Harry Winston jewelry business puts shine on Dominion Diamond Q1 results

TORONTO - Dominion Diamond Corp. (TSX:DDC) says it had a $500.2-million net profit attributable to shareholders in its fiscal first quarter, which included the sale of its Harry Winston luxury jewelry retail business.

The profit amounted to $5.89 per share, up from 14 cents per share or $11.6 million a year earlier.

The improvement was from a $497.6-million gain on the sale of Harry Winston, which offset a lower profit at Dominion Diamond's continuing operations, which include a stake in the Diavik mine in North West Territories.

Dominion Diamond, which adopted its new name as a result of its return to a pure mining company, also closed the $553-million cash purchase of BHP Billiton's majority stake in the Ekati mine in the North West Territories during the quarter.

Its net profit from continuing operations attributable to shareholders was $2.8 million or three cents per share, down from $6.0 million or seven cents per share in the comparable quarter of the prior year.