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Petra Diamonds H1 profit dips as production improves

29 february 2012

London-listed Petra Diamonds has recorded a loss after tax of $26.7 million during the first half of the financial year (FY) 2012 when compared to a profit of $24.5 million the year before.
The miner, which has operations in South Africa and Tanzania, said unrealised foreign exchange losses of $35.7 million drained improved revenues earned from increased output.
Petra had recorded $101.4 million in revenue.
Meanwhile, production in the first half leaped 64 percent to 953,553 carats compared to 582,102 carats recorded the year earlier.
The group also expected a significant carat sales increase for H2 mainly due to increased production from Finsch and net release of approximately 100,000 carats closing stock.
Petra chief executive Johan Dippenaar said the company was on track to achieve production of more than two million carats in fiscal year 2012.
Its next target was 5 million carats by 2019.
He also said that the long-term outlook for the rough diamond market remained positive due to the growth in demand from emerging markets set against a flat or declining supply trend.
Dippenaar said the group was still seeing modest growth in the US market and the information at hand showed that China, India and the Middle East would grow in three years time to the size of current US market, which comprised about 40 percent of the market.