Petra results sparkle after stone sale

PETRA Diamonds announced record pre-tax annual profits of $70.2m (£45.1m) yesterday, in a remarkable turnaround from the losses of $89m it announced in2009.

Gross revenue at the mining company also increased to $177.7m for the year, up 88 per cent on the $94.4m recorded in the 12 months to 30 June 2009.

The mining company, which owns six diamond mines in South Africa, attributed the turnaround in part to the discovery of a 507 carat rough diamond in its Cullinan mine with the rare stone netting $35.3m, the highest ever price paid on record for a rough diamond.

Petra also put the turnaround down to the recovery in the diamond market and rough diamond prices from the previous year’s downturn when global production fell 25 per cent.

It added the past twelve months had seen an increase in the volume and value of imported polished diamonds and consumer sales in the North American market.

Petra chief executive Johan Dippenaar, said the company had experienced an “exceptional year’ adding: “The outlook for the diamond market is positive, with a significant supply gap anticipated in the coming years as demand continues apace in emerging markets.”