Petra Diamonds: H1 Earnings Loss, H2 Improve

Africa-focused miner Petra Diamonds said first half earnings fell as unrealized foreign exchange losses wiped out improved revenues earned from a jump in production, Reuters reported.

A loss per share of $0.05 was posted for the six months to end December from earnings per share of $0.07 the year before, the report said.

Unrealized foreign exchange losses of $35.7 million were recorded against a 13 % rise in revenue to $101.4 million.

The bulk of Petra’s operations are in South Africa, which means the company’s earnings are sensitive to movements in the rand exchange rate, said the report.

Petra is expecting an improved performance in the second half with significantly higher production and sales as well as a more stable diamond market, it said.

Production in the first half jumped 64% to 953,553 carats and the inclusion of the Finsch diamond mine for the full six months of the second half is expected to push production “significantly higher”.

Petra acquired the Finsch diamond mine, South Africa’s second largest diamond operation by production, from De Beers in September.

The company said it was on track to produce 2 million carats in its current financial year. Its next target is 5 million carats by 2019.

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