Petra Diamonds announces swing to $37.9m first half profit
The group says it plans to raise annual output to over 3m carats by 2019
LONDON (Reuters) -
Petra Diamonds Ltd (PDL.L) swung to a first-half profit on higher production amid a recovery in the rough diamond market.
It moved to a net profit of $37.9 million from a net loss of $88.0 million in the year-earlier period, when it took a $75.3 million impairment charge, as revenue grew 43 percent.
"The diamond market made a strong recovery over recent months due to a number of positive factors and rough diamond prices are now close to the averages recorded in the 2008 financial year before the global economic slump," said chairman Adonis Pouroulis.
Shares in diamond producers, which failed to join a mining sector rally last year as consumers shunned luxury, are set for a boost from a recovery in gem prices.
Shares in the company, which lost about a quarter of its value in 2009, closed at 58.27 pence on Friday, valuing the AIM-listed company at 205 million pounds.
In January, the company said it has seen a strong improvement in rough diamond prices and announced that its production growth for the 2010 financial year is on track.
The company plans to raise annual production to over 3 million carats by 2019 from 1 million.
Petra is expected to swing to a net profit of $21.7 million in its fiscal year to end June, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, from a net loss of $88.9 million the previous year.
It expects to announce the results of the sale of a 507 carat white diamond, named The Cullinan Heritage, on Feb. 26. The diamond is one of the top 20 largest high quality rough diamonds ever discovered. (Reporting by Julie Crust; editing by Mark Potter)
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