Brink's says Brussels robbery to effect 1Q results

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Armored car company Brink's Co. said Wednesday that it expects its share of losses related to the $50 million diamond heist at the Brussels airport earlier this week to significantly affect its first-quarter results, but it left its outlook for the full year unchanged.

The diamonds were on board a plane headed to Switzerland from Antwerp's diamond district Monday. About 20 minutes before the plane was set to take off, eight thieves cut through the fence surrounding the airport and drove onto the tarmac with police lights flashing. Dressed in dark police clothing and hoods, they whipped out machine guns and stopped the pilots and the transport security crew in their tracks.

The thieves opened the plane's hold, picked out 120 parcels containing the diamonds and loaded them into cars before making a high-speed getaway. The plane's 29 passengers never saw a thing, no shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Richmond, Va.-based Brink's said Wednesday that it had been shipping some of the diamonds at the time of the robbery, but has a longstanding insurance program in place to cover its losses. Total loss exposure connected to the robbery has not been verified, and the loss exposure for Brink's has not been disclosed. 

Brink's said that it has notified its affected customers, adding that they will be reimbursed promptly for all confirmed losses.

Brink's said that while it expects the loss to have a "significant impact" on first-quarter profits, it won't have that kind of effect on full-year results. The company backed its full-year organic revenue growth prediction of between 5 and 8 percent.

Brink's shares fell 38 cents to $26.39 in afternoon trading.