De Beers’ Profits Fall 50 Percent

De Beers’ profits fell by about 50 percent in the first half of 2012, a result of what it called challenging conditions in the cutting centers.

Overall sales decreased to $3.3 billion from $3.9 billion the year before, a 14 percent drop. Profits before finance charges and taxation were $502 million, compared with $1.01 billion the year before.

The company said that despite problems with liquidity and excess stock in India, consumer demand for diamonds has held up and the U.S. market continued to perform well.

The company also said in its press statement:

  • Its $300 million U.S. antitrust settlement became “unconditional” in May, which should allow “De Beers to do business in the USA in future.”
  • Its retail brand, De Beers Diamond Jewellers, experienced a decline in the high-end market. The brand will open three stores in mainland China before the end of the year.