LONDON — De Beers, the diamond mining division of Anglo American, posted double-digit sales and underlying earnings growth in 2014 due to “solid demand” in key markets such as the U.S.
Anglo American said in its year-end preliminary results statement Friday that underlying EBIT, or earnings before interest and taxes, climbed 36 percent to $1.36 billion, while sales were up 11 percent to $7.11 billion.
It said the increase in underlying EBIT was due primarily to strong revenue growth stemming from solid demand across key markets, in particular the U.S. Operating costs benefited from favorable exchange rate movements, which offset underlying inflationary pressures.
Anglo American said consumer demand for diamond jewelry showed positive growth in local currency terms in all the main markets in 2014.
“The economic recovery gained momentum in the U.S., the largest consumer diamond market, which resulted in healthy diamond jewelry sales growth throughout the year,” the statement said.
Anglo added that growth in diamond jewelry demand in China continued, albeit at more modest levels, reflecting slowing economic growth.
Macro-economic conditions in India started improving in the final quarter of 2014, following the election of a new government earlier in the year, which boosted consumer confidence, “lifting hopes that growth will return.”
Rough diamond prices increased over the course of 2014, albeit with some softness toward the end of 2014 and early in 2015, Anglo said.
The company said Forevermark, the De Beers collection of branded diamonds that are inscribed with their own identification numbers, saw “strong growth” in 2014. The brand is now available in more than 1,500 outlets in 34 markets.
De Beers Diamond Jewelers, the retail and brand joint venture between De Beers and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, opened a new store in Selfridges in London and a concession at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. There are now 35 De Beers stores in 12 markets.