Royal Canadian Mint struggles to make money: documents – Politics

The Royal Canadian Mint just isn’t making the money it used to.

Revenue is down sharply, jobs have been chopped, morale is in the tank, and formerly successful lines of business are being shut down – even as the mint spends millions of dollars on new executive offices.

Once a cash cow, the mint – which actually lost money in 2015 – is struggling financially.

Latest figures for the third-quarter of 2016 show that revenues were down by $208 million, or about 27 per cent, and profits were down by $6.5 million, or 61 per cent.

The mint has been marketing collectible coins, such as this Superman coin from 2014, but recently decided to end some offerings in its so-called Face Value series because of poor sales and high returns. (The Royal Canadian Mint/The Canadian Press)

The weak financials mean the mint’s 1,200 employees likely won’t get their general annual bonus, which is based on meeting corporate profit targets. In April 2016, each worker took home an average of $8,204 in bonuses.

President Sandra Hanington told employees in November that a bonus for this year was “unlikely” given the troubled balance sheet.

A silver collectible coin series — so-called face value coins, including last year’s silver $20 Star Trek coins — was ended on Jan. 1 this year because of poor sales.

“At Oct. 1, 2016, the market price of silver was significantly less than the face value of these coins,” the mint said in a release Friday, explaining its weak third-quarter sales. “Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the mint is no longer selling face value coins.”

Full refunds

Droves of customers have been returning these coins for full refunds, forcing the mint to revise the way it reports such revenues to better account for the high returns. Those complex accounting revisions are part of the reason the mint was almost three months late in reporting its third-quarter results, which were due Nov. 30.

CBC News obtained dozens of internal Royal Canadian Mint documents under…

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