Petra Diamonds profits jump, but risk of missing production targets persists

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Revenues at FTSE 250 diamond miner Petra Diamonds increased almost 50 per cent in the first half of its financial year, with the company returning to a net profit as it continues to benefit from recovery in global diamond markets.

The company reported a net profit of $35.2m in the six months to December 31, compared to a $2.2m loss in the same period in 2015. Pre-tax profits increased by an impressive 51,500 per cent, coming in at $51.6m after just scraping a $0.1m profit the previous year.

Revenues were 48 per cent higher than the same period the previous year, at $228.5m.

However, the company warned that its full-year production may be toward the bottom end of targets, after construction on a new plant in South Africa was disrupted by labour disputes. Petra said it “remains on track” for production of 4.4m to 4.6m carats, “but is mindful of the potential to be towards the bottom end of this range”.

Petra’s net debt at the end of the period was broadly the same as at the end of its first quarter, at $463.6m, more than 20 per cent higher than the same period last year. The company’s debt – 2.8 times last year’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – has risen in recent years as the company invested in new diamond caves.

Photo: Bloomberg

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