LONDON — Higher interest expense and softness in Europe and Japan pulled down De Beers Société Anonyme’s 2002 earnings despite a double-digit rise in sales.

Net income declined 17.6 percent to $407 million from $494 million, due to an increase in net interest paid — to $144 million from $65 million — and an unfavorable comparison with the 2001 balance sheet which benefited from a one-off surplus payment of $94 million. De Beers. based in Luxembourg, reports its results in U.S. dollars.

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