De Beers’ Sales Up, But Profits Down

Sales soared but profits plunged for De Beers in the first half of 2002.

De Beers’ rough diamond sales during the first six months of 2002 jumped 8.5% to $2.8 billion, up from $2.62 billion in 2001. At the same time, however, income dropped nearly 60% to $261 million, down from $633 million the year before.

The company said the good sales were due to the better-than-expected diamond jewelry sales over Christmas 2001, but sales for the rest of the year will depend on the world economy. The profit woes were the result of changes in De Beers’ share holdings when the company went private last year.

A De Beers statement said the company had made “good progress” in its talks with the European Commission over its Supplier of Choice strategy and expects a “favorable outcome in the second half of the year.”