A tight leash on costs helps Petra Diamonds whittle away its debt pile
Bengaluru — Petra Diamonds reported a 21% increase in full-year revenue on higher diamond prices and production on Monday, while a tight leash on costs helped the miner cut its debt pile by 15%.
Petra has taken measures to keep its debt in check after years of heavy spending, but the effect of a confiscated consignment in Tanzania and the recent strengthening of the rand has hurt its business.
Total production rose 15% to 4.6-million carats, helped by the ramp-up of its new Cullinan plant in SA.
Petra, which operates four mines in SA and one in Tanzania, said production at Cullinan alone jumped 74% to 1.4-million carats.
Net debt fell to $436.1m as of June 30 from $513.9m at the same time in 2017, while operating costs remained in line with its expectations during the year, Petra said.
The company said it saw a 2% rise in rough diamond prices on a like-for-like basis during the year, adding that it expected the diamond market to remain healthy.
Revenue rose to $576.4m for the 12 months to June 30 from $477m a year earlier.
Petra said on Monday there was no update regarding its confiscated diamond parcel in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian government confiscated a consignment of diamonds from a mine majority-owned by Petra in August 2017 after accusing the firm of under-declaring the value of the stones by about half. Petra has denied the charge.