By Jeff Starck, Jun 1, 2020
The Royal Canadian Mint restarted production of numismatic coins on May 25.
The RCM made the announcement on its Facebook page, stating that:
“The Mint has been working hard since mid-March to find the best way to operate at full capacity in a safe and sustainable way. With the implementation of a number of new safety measures, the Mint will resume the production of numismatic coins starting Monday, May 25.”
The timing for the restart couldn’t be better, in some respects — according to the first quarterly statement for 2020, released May 22, the RCM noted that collector coin sales, for the first three months of 2020 (ending March 28) were down 22 percent from the same period in 2019.
Profit for the first quarter of 2020 totaled $1.7 million Canadian (all funds are Canadian dollars), compared to $7.7 million for the same period in 2019.
The decrease in revenue is largely attributable to the suspension of order fulfillment and shipments since mid-March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a planned smaller, more resonant product portfolio in 2020, in particular for silver products, consistent with the Mint’s updated numismatics strategy, the RCM said.
The RCM shut down its boutiques on March 14, and suspended the majority of its production and shipping operations on March 20.
Sales of collector coins in the period fell to $21.3 million, compared to $27.3 million in the same period in 2019.
One major bright spot during the quarter was the bullion products and services net revenue, which increased 51 percent year-over-year for the same period.
The increase in revenue was mainly attributable to an increase in global market demand for gold and silver bullion products (a response to the economic uncertainty spawned by COVID-19) combined with higher gold prices quarter over quarter.
The RCM sold 198,100 ounces of gold in that period, compared to 123,800 ounces a year earlier.
Silver volume sales were 6.6 million ounces compared to 5.5 million in the first quarter of 2019.
The RCM does not break down the sales figures for gold bullion to distinguish between sales of coins and bars.
International circulation coinage production was also a bright spot for the RCM during this period, with revenue increasing 31 percent year-over-year.
The RCM shipped 265 million world coins and blanks, compared to 194 million coins in the same period of 2019.
The other major development at the RCM during this period was a slight shift in production offerings, to address the pandemic.
According to the report, the Mint expects to continue production of hand sanitizer and protective visors at its Ottawa and Winnipeg plants over the coming months as part of its efforts to support and supply health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full quarterly report can be found online at the RCM’s website