RCM production back to normal, Ottawa boutique remains closed

While COVID-19 continues to affect the Royal Canadian Mint’s finances, with some business lines booming and others taking a hit, the Crown corporation’s production has mostly returned to normal.

The Mint’s Ottawa and Winnipeg manufacturing facilities both operated normally throughout the first quarter (Q1) of 2021. In late March 2020, two weeks after the pandemic began, the Mint ceased all production and numismatic shipments for two weeks. “Modified production” resumed in early April of last year as business slowly returned to normal through 2020.

On the retail side, while the Winnipeg boutique re-opened for curbside pickups on April 9 after a nearly year-long closure. People can also sign up for live virtual tours of the Winnipeg facility via mint.ca.

“We started these live virtual tours because teachers from across Canada were reaching out looking for ways to bring engagement to their remote learning sessions, and tours are getting rave reviews,” Alex Reeves, senior manager of public affairs at the Mint, told CCN.

Each 35-45-minute tour “entertains and educates groups with your own personal tour guide,” reads the Mint website.

“Each of our tour guides is well trained in the history and storytelling that make the Royal Canadian Mint a uniquely Canadian experience. Learn about the pride and passion our employees bring to coin making for Canada and up to 80 countries around the world.”

In Ontario, the Ottawa boutique and its tour operations remain closed; however, the Ontario government recently outlined its latest re-opening plan, which began on June 11 with relaxed restrictions on outdoor activities.

Q1 FINANCIAL REPORT

According to the Mint’s latest financial report, published in May, the Crown corporation’s “financial goal for 2021” is a before-tax profit of $47.6 million.

“The Mint is also making investments in 2021 as it plans and starts the implementation of its business transformation.”

In Q1, the Mint increased its revenue by 81 per cent with a consolidated before-tax profit of $26 million for the quarter (compared to $6.5 million in 2020). The Mint saw revenue increases in both its precious metal and circulation businesses.

“The increase was mainly due to higher bullion volumes sold in the quarter, which increased the Mint’s revenue and cost of sales proportionately,” added the report.

The Mint also cited an increased profit margin percentage – up 1.6 per cent quarter over quarter – “mainly due to stronger performance from the sales of numismatic products and foreign circulation coins in 2021.”

Consolidated revenue has increased to $902.8 million in 2021 (compared to $498.4 million in 2020).

Revenue from the Mint’s precious metal businesses has increased to $852 million in 2021 (compared to $465.2 million in 2020). Gold bullion volumes increased more than 65 per cent quarter over quarter, reaching 328,500 ounces (compared to 198,000 ounces in 2020). Silver bullion volumes increased 52 per cent to hit 9.9 million ounces (compared to 6.6 million ounces in 2020).

Sales of numismatic products also increased to $31.5 million in 2021 (compared to $21.3 million in 2020) due to “an increase in sales of gold products in 2021 and the temporary suspension, in 2020, of numismatic product production as a result of COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the report.

Revenue from the Mint’s circulation businesses has increased to $50.8 million in 2021 (compared to $33.1 million in 2020). The foreign circulation business increased 162 per cent quarter over quarter with the production and shipment of 319 million foreign coins and blanks (compared to 265 million coins in 2020).

Canadian circulation coins produced and sold to the finance department for inventory totalled 77 million pieces in Q1 (compared to 76 million pieces in 2020).

Overall, operating expenses increased 15 per cent quarter over quarter to $25.6 million due “mainly to planned consulting and contingent workforce costs related to the implementation of the Mint’s business transformation initiatives,” according to the report.

This February, the Mint was also chosen as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers for 2021.

“Its maternity and parental leave top up policies, flexible work arrangements and compassionate leave top up policy were highlighted in this recognition,” adds the Q1 report, which can be read in full online at bit.ly/3gmlOD6.

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