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Petra H1 core earnings drop 11% to $67.2m

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Petra Diamonds’ earning before tax eased 11%t to $67.2 million in the six months to December compared with $75.6 million, a year earlier.
This, it said, was driven by lower revenue partially offset by decreased mining and processing costs.
The group’s revenue fell 6% to $193.9 million during the period under consideration, mainly due to weakening prices, from $207.1 million in the corresponding period. 

Image credit: kschneider2991 (Pixabay)

It recorded a $10 million loss in the first half of the year from a $57.9 million profit the previous year.
Production was up 3% to about 2,1 million from 2 million carats, a year earlier, however this did not help as a decline in diamond prices weakened the company’s revenue inflows.
Petra’s net debt increased over the period, following the payment of the coupon on the group’s $650 million loan notes of $23.6 million, the advances to the local partners in South Africa of $11.3 million to facilitate debt repayments, and the seasonal build-up of inventory which will be released during the second half.
Meanwhile, Petra said although the 2019 calendar year was very challenging for the rough diamond market, they saw growing stability in pricing as the year closed. 
“Post period end, demand continued to improve as the midstream looked to replenish inventory after healthy holiday season retail sales,” it said.
“Sales in the major US market remain robust. However, sentiment around the market has significantly weakened due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, which resulted in a shutdown of retail stores over the important Chinese New Year period and the subsequent postponement of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl show…”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished