Petra Diamonds has announced that revenue for the first six months of the financial year – ending December 31 – fell 28% to $154m (£108m).
The fall in revenue was despite a 2% increase in production to 1,629,403 carats – compared with 1,601,069 carats in the same period last year – according to the firm’s unaudited results.
Petra said that it had sold 7% less diamonds during the period – 1,303,051 carats compared with 1,401,575 carats in the first half of the 2015 financial year – but that it expects the second half of the year to perform better due to the timing of tenders.
Meanwhile, rough diamond prices were down 9% on a like-for-like basis compared with the same period last year, but Petra said the expected improvement in product mix has “favourably impacted” the average value per carat achieved for each of its operations.
Johan Dippenaar, CEO, said the company made a “good” start to the year, with production 1.6 million carats ahead of its target of 1.5 million carats during the period. He said it places the company in a good position to achieve its full year target of 3.3 million to 3.4 million carats.
He added: “Importantly our expansion programmes remain on track to deliver the first significant input of undiluted ore from the new mining areas in H2 FY 2016, which will lead to improved ROM grades and a better product mix.
“Also, the construction of the new plant at Cullinan is on track, and we look forward to the significant benefits this new plant will bring to bear at the mine. As always we remain focused on operational delivery, while maintaining a tight control of our cost base.”