De Beers sales rise but no longer sparkling

04-08-2006

The world's largest miner and producer of diamonds De Beers has today announced a slight climb in its half-year sales, with rough diamond trade faltering.

Rough diamonds form the bedrock of the mining-firm's business, but the overall value of sales still rose to $3.25 billion (£1.75 billion), compared to $3.2 billion (£1.72 billion) during the corresponding period last year.

However, consumer demand for diamond jewellery remains strong, with output increasing to from its South African mines increasing to 24.7 million diamonds.

A statement issued by the group explained that they hoped consumer spending via its Diamond Trading Company (DTC) would have a knock-on effect in spurring growth in rough diamond sales.

"In the short term, we expect rough diamond market conditions to remain challenging, and constrain growth in second half DTC sales."

De Beers is 45 per cent owned by mining giant Anglo American, which revealed that its contribution to its half-year profits would be down to $238 million (£128 million), compared to $270 million ($145 million) in the first six months of last year.

Overall profit for Anglo American was considerably higher at $520 million, but this figure incorporated the one off-sale of a significant stake in its South African mining operations.


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