Petra Diamonds chief predicts buoyant demand from China

Suzie Neuwirth
THE CHIEF executive of Petra Diamonds yesterday shrugged off concerns of a growth slowdown in China to predict increased demand for diamonds from the world’s second largest economy, as the FTSE 250-quoted miner unveiled solid first-half results.

“Growth is being redirected from high levels of infrastructure spend to a consumer-type economy,” Johan Dippenaar told City A.M. “Chinese retailers expect mass luxury to become a feature of the market. The US is still an important part of the market but it will be a more balanced picture going forward.”

The firm reported a 19 per cent increase in revenue to $185.5m (£111.4m). Adjusted core earnings rose 157 per cent to $65.8m.

The second half of the year is expected to be stronger, due to the seasonal timing of tenders and the $25.6m proceeds from the sale of a 29.62 carat blue diamond.

Petra plans to spend $180m per year on expanding its operations until 2016, when it plans to cut this to $100m and issue its first dividend.

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