Petra Diamonds results beat expectations on strong sales, production

Africa-focused Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) said Monday revenue for the year ending in June was slightly up despite weak diamond prices for the period, thanks to strong sales.

The miner, known for major recent findings, said revenue climbed 1% to $430.9 million, beating market expectations of $408.9 million, at a time when rough diamond prices fell 6%.

Output rose 16% to 3.7 million carats, which puts Petra on track to hit its long term annual target of 5 million carats in 2018, a year earlier than planned.

Petra, which operates four diamond mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, said output rose 16% to 3.7 million carats, which puts it on track to hit its long term annual target of 5 million carats in 2018, a year earlier than planned.

The company added the market has shown clear “signs of recovery and stabilization” in recent months.

Petra has attracted media and investors interest in recent months after finding three major diamonds at its Cullinan mine in South Africa, which were sold at record prices. One of those rocks, the “Blue Moon” became the world’s most expensive diamond after fetching $48.5 million at a Sotheby's auction in November.

And earlier this month, it sold a massive 121-carat white diamond unearthed at the same mine for $6 million.

Not surprisingly, the company ignored the market weakness and embarked on a project to extend the life of the iconic operation.

The new pit at Cullinan, located north-east of Pretoria, is due to come on stream before the end of the year, with a full ramp-up in 2017.