By  on July 28, 2011

JOHANNESBURG — The first employees’ strike to hit global diamond giant De Beers’ South African operations in 19 years entered its seventh day on Thursday, as the company reported record high sales of $3.49 billion for rough diamonds worldwide for the first half despite below-target output.

Earnings excluding extraordinary items more than doubled to $666 million. The company said sales were driven by exceptional price growth, powered by a strong demand for diamonds in the U.S., China and India.

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