London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 February 2010 – Strong trading results in the second half of 2009 demonstrated that Petra Diamonds – one of the world’s largest independent diamond groups by resources – has made significant progress during the period, with increased diamond production in a rough diamond market that continues to strengthen.
Announcing the group’s interim results for the six months to 31 December 2009, CEO Johan Dippenaar said the company was in a robust financial position, combining profitable mining operations with a well-capitalised balance sheet. “Our priority now is to deliver on our core objective to expand production at each mining asset,”’ taking annual production from one million to over three million carats “’ and to further enhance our profile as the unique growth opportunity in the diamond sector.”
He added that gains in international rough diamond prices might slow down in 2010 in the wake of their surge in the second half of last year, as producers start increasing their output of the gems. “We are cautiously optimistic that prices will remain firm,” Dippenaar said. “We don’t expect big increases “’ they should be fairly steady.”
Petra’s interim results for the second half of 2009 show that gross mine revenue was up 32% to US$62.4 million (R468 million), and group attributable mine revenue rose 43% to US$48.4 million (R363 million). Profit after tax was US$37.9 million (R284 million)
Prices surged last year from a global slump as producers cut output and gem dealers rebuilt stockpiles for Christmas. Prices jumped 48% during the first 11 months of 2009, according to data from WWW International Diamond Consultants Limited.
Petra today forecast fiscal full-year production of 1.2 million carats, up from 1.09 million carats a year earlier.