By  on July 28, 2008

LONDON — Net profits at De Beers SA fell 9.7 percent during the six months to June to $316 million, compared with earnings of $350 million in the same period last year.

De Beers said the profit decline was largely due to an increase in the tax rate this year compared with the previous year, and one-off charges associated with its class-action settlement agreement in the U.S. Underlying earnings during the period, which stripped out the effect of tax and one-off items, rose 8 percent to $350 million, from $324 million.

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