All that glitters: Anglo American's diamond business De Beers reports higher sales on pre-Christmas demand

Jessica Morris
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Anglo American expects demand for diamonds to remain broadly stable this year (Source: Getty)

Anglo American said today sales at De Beers, its diamond unit, rose as manufacturers snapped up the precious gems ahead of the holiday season.

The world's largest diamond producer by value reported rough diamond sales generated $630m (£472.65m) in its seventh offering this year, up from $528m in the previous round.

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"We saw healthy demand for our rough diamonds in cycle seven, as manufacturers brought forward some of their demand in order to cut and polish rough diamonds in time for the important retail selling season," Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of De Beers, said in a statement.

Anglo American suffered amid the commodities rout, prompting the miner to focus on its more profitable copper, platinum and diamond businesses. The firm is under pressure to hive off its South African operations — leaving just the De Beers arm.

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The company recently said it expects diamond demand to remain broadly stable this year, but with downside risks in the second half. It comes after a challenging 2015 for the industry, when the market was hit by weak demand and oversupply.

Shares in Anglo American rose as much as 3.4 per cent to 841.7p per share this morning, meaning they have swelled around 180 per cent year-to-date.