De Beers profit jumps as diamond market stabilizes

Joshua Freedman

Profit more than doubled for De Beers last year as trading conditions in the diamond-manufacturing sector improved and inventory levels stabilized.
Underlying earnings jumped to $667 million in 2016 from $258 million a year earlier, parent company Anglo American said in a statement Tuesday.

This came as revenue grew 30 percent to $6.07 billion, reflecting a 37-percent hike in rough-diamond sales to $5.6 billion.

The midstream of the diamond industry returned to buying rough after a 2015 slump in demand that resulted from oversupply of polished and inflated rough prices. Manufacturers started working down their polished inventories in the second half of that year before restocking their rough supplies in 2016. De Beers also lowered prices, with its rough-price index declining 13 percent across 2016.

The miner consequently reduced its rough stockpiles during the year, management said. De Beers production fell 5 percent to 27.3 million carats, while sales volume leapt 50 percent to 30 million carats, meaning it sold a larger volume of stones than it mined.

De Beers - Venetia Diamond Mine

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Source Rapaport