Petra sparkles as earnings rise

PETRA Diamonds shareholders’ eyes may have sparkled with delight at news the FTSE 250 listed mining company is considering paying its first dividend sooner than planned.

Petra had planned to pay its maiden dividend from the 2016 financial year, but may bring that forward, as the South Africa focused mining company also revealed pre-tax profits rose 68 per cent on last year to hit $124.4m (£75.9m) in 2014.

Petra, founded in 1997, also saw its revenue in the year to 30 June 2014 rise 20 per cent to $417.8m.

Production across its mines rose 17 per cent to over 3.1m carats, above expectations of 3m carats, Petra said, and stated it was on track to raise production to 5m carats by 2019.

Petra has discovered a trio of “exceptional” diamonds at its Cullinan mine since January, including a 122-carat blue diamond which sold for $28m earlier this week, and a recently found 232-carat white diamond that it is yet to sell.