De Beers’ Sales, Profits Fall

De Beers’ total sales and profits decreased in 2012, the result of what it called “challenging” trading conditions and ricocheting rough prices.

Overall, the company’s rough prices fell 12 percent last year, with lackluster demand and high stock levels causing strong drops in the third quarter, according to a company statement. However, by year’s end, prices had stabilized, the statement said.

The miner expects moderate growth in demand throughout 2013, with improvements forecast in the United States, India, and China.  

Other highlights of De Beers’ 2012 financial results:

  • Total sales: Down 16 percent, to $6.1 billion
  • Sales of rough diamonds: Down 15 percent, to $5.5 billion 
  • Operating profit: Down 45 percent, to $815 million 
  • EBITDA: Down 39 percent, to $1.075 billion  
  • Diamond production: 27.9 million carats, down from 2011’s 31.3 million carats 
  • Net debt: Reduced to $722 million, from 2011’s $1.17 billion 

De Beers also noted that the planned migration of the Diamond Trading Company to Botswana is continuing ahead of schedule, and will be completed by the end of this year.

Over 2012, De Beers experienced three fatalities in its mining operations.  

Prior to the results, the company announced it was committing more than $2 billion to the expansion of South African mine Venetia.

JCK News Director