Petra Diamonds swings to annual profit

London-listed Petra Diamonds swung to an annual profit after it bought South African mines from De Beers, and forecast on Tuesday a fivefold jump in output for the current fiscal year.

The AIM-listed miner posted a net profit after tax for the year to end June of $1,9-million, from a loss of $20,9-million the previous fiscal year.

The firm said the main reason for the turnaround in profit was the contribution from the Koffiefontein mine it bought from De Beers.

“The success at Koffiefontein clearly demonstrates our distinctive ability to turn such mines to account, and we look forward to achieving similar results at these acquisitions,” chairperson Adonis Pouroulis said in a statement.

The other mines it has purchased from the world’s largest diamond producer—Cullinan and the Kimberley underground operations in South Africa and Williamson in Tanzania—will come on stream this financial year, it said.

The firm boosted output 11% to 200 287 carats and expected a huge increase during the current year.

“Fivefold production increase is expected to more than one million carats for FY 2009 with the new mines coming on stream,” it said.

The firm also announced a major increase in its resource base, jumping to 265-million carats, worth $27,3-billion, from 11,38-million carats worth $1,9-billion about a year ago.

Petra posted a 352% increase in revenue to $76,9-million and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of $25,5-million versus a loss of $5,2-million last year.

The firm said it had a good start to the current fiscal year, receiving attributable revenue of $14,8-million from its first tender, comprising sales from eight weeks of production at Koffiefontein and its fissure mines, as well as the first four weeks of production at Cullinan.—Reuters


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