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LONDON — First-half revenue at De Beers Group, the diamond miner, wholesaler and retailer, was flat against last year at $3.3 billion, its parent company Anglo American plc said in a statement Friday.
Anglo American said its share of underlying profits from De Beers, which it acquired last August, rose to $571 million from $249 million, due to its larger stake in the company, improved pricing and more favorable exchange rates. It does not break out net profit figures for De Beers or its other holdings.
“During the first half of 2013, we saw encouraging signs of stability and moderate growth in the major diamond consumer markets of the USA and China,” said Philippe Mellier, chief executive officer of De Beers Group.
“While polished diamond prices have increased slightly during the period, trading conditions remained challenging for our rough market partners. In the first half of 2013, De Beers’ rough diamond prices recovered some of the losses experienced in the second half of 2012, with an improved product mix offsetting the lower price index,” he added.
Going forward, Mellier said that while the market continues to experience volatility and macro-economic uncertainty, the company remains “cautiously optimistic that the growing strength exhibited in the polished market, particularly in the USA, will translate to overall global growth for the year. In the longer-term, the fundamentals of the industry remain strong, as growing demand will continue to outpace flat to declining production.”
After a 12 percent decline in De Beers’ rough diamond prices during the second half of 2012, prices increased by 6 percent in the first six months of 2013. The realized average price to June 2013 was 2 percent higher than for the same period in 2012, driven by an improved product mix, more than offsetting the lower price index, the company said.
Production increased by 6 percent to 14.3 million carats.
The statement said that De Beers’ polished diamond brand Forevermark continued to grow, particularly in the core markets of China, Japan, India and the U.S., and is now available in more than 1,000 authorized jewelry stores.
Despite an adverse exchange rate impact from the Japanese yen, De Beers Diamond Jewellers, the retail joint venture with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, delivered “sales growth” compared with the first six months of 2012, with strong growth in Europe and most Asian markets. During the period, two new franchise stores were opened, in Kuala Lumpur and Baku.