London – Global demand for diamonds will increase slightly in 2014, fueled by a desire for polished diamonds in the United States and China, De Beers said when releasing it annual results Friday.
In 2013, De Beers’ sales increased 5 percent to $6.4 billion, compared with $6.1 billion in 2012. Operating profit rose 112 percent to $1.00 billion due to improved prices, largely owing to the product mix, and a weaker South African rand.
Diamond jewelry sales were up in all major markets in 2013, except India. The U.S. market, specifically, posted positive growth and the holiday season was “generally strong,” the company said.
De Beers said its diamond brand, Forevermark, is now carried by 1,200 stores in 12 countries, a 39 percent increase in doors as compared with 2012. The growth of the brand is driven primarily by the United States along with Japan, China and India.
“Diamond jewelry sales were up in all major markets in 2013, except India.”
Meanwhile, De Beers Diamond Jewellers, the chain of retail stores De Beers operates in a joint venture with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, opened directly operated stores in Shanghai, China and Hong Kong’s Times Square as well as stores in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Baku, Azerbaijan; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Kiev, Ukraine that are franchise partnerships.