Jul 26, 2011
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De Beers says core earnings up 55 pct after record H1

Jul 26, 2011

July 26 - De Beers, one of world's largest diamond producers, posted a 55 percent jump in core earnings for the first half, on the back of record sales, thanks to a 35 percent boost in prices and strong demand from India, China and the United States.

De Beers
De Beers Aura design collection.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled $1.2 billion for the six month period, while profit before finance charges and tax was $1.02 billion, up 74 percent.

De Beers, which controls around 40 percent of the rough diamond market, said sales of rough diamonds by the Diamond Trading Company were up 33 percent at $3.5 billion, the highest ever sales figure recorded for the first half.

Prices for diamonds are now well above their 2008 pre-crisis levels, having been one of the best performing commodities this year, with rough diamond prices boosted by a dearth of new mines, low inventories at cutting centres and increasing demand.

De Beers, 45-percent owned by Anglo American , vies for the spot of the world's largest diamond producer in carat terms with Russian state-owned miner Alrosa.

Anglo American said it would report underlying earnings of $299 million for the first half from its investment in De Beers.

The group announced in May that it had appointed industry outsider Philippe Mellier, a senior executive at French engineering group Alstom , as its new chief executive.

(Editing by Sophie Walker)

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