Petra Diamonds makes progress

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London listed diamond miner Petra Diamonds says it made progress with its strategy in the 2012 financial year.

“2012 has seen Petra further consolidate its position as London’s largest listed diamond mining group. The successful acquisition and integration of Finsch‚ the step up from AIM to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange‚ and the delivery on production targets all demonstrate

Petra’s progression to the next stage of its development‚” said CEO Johan Dippenaar.

The group on Monday reported revenue growth of 44% to US$316.9 million for the year ended June 2012‚ while profit from mining activity was up 35% to US$103.3 million. Operating cashflow was 57% higher at US$79.9 million and adjusted EBITDA grew 35% to US$90.3 million.

It reported adjusted earnings per share of 7.82 cents‚ compared with 8.41 cents a year ago. Its basic EPS reflected a 0.48 cents per share loss compared with a 12.83 cents per share profit a year ago.

Its loss after tax amounted to US$2.1 million after a profit of US$59.2 million‚ affected by unrealised foreign exchange losses of US$38.6 million and non-recurring transaction costs of US$3.1 million.

For the year its production was up 98% to 2‚208‚862 carats.

On the corporate front‚ Petra completed the acquisition of the world-class Finsch mine from De Beers for R1.425 billion on 14 September 2011. It also moved up from AIM to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2011 and was subsequently included in the FTSE 250 Index in March 2012.

Post year end it commenced the disposal process to sell the Fissure Mines which are no longer core to Petra’s portfolio.

Looking ahead the group said its expansion plans are on target to increase production to 5 million carats by FY 2019.

Group production is expected to increase by around 30% to 2.85 million carats in FY 2013‚ further to a full year’s contribution from Finsch and Williamson‚ plus increased output at Kimberley Underground.

The review of the group’s debt requirements is progressing well and the syndicate banks have given their provisional commitments to the debt requirements and structure requested by Petra‚ which will see the group fully funded through to the conclusion of its expansion programmes.

It is expected that the process‚ including full form signed documentation‚ will complete in Q2 FY 2013.

The company says that while the rough diamond market remains under pressure as the current economic uncertainty continues‚ it believes the medium to long-term outlook remains positive due to the strong supply/demand fundamentals

“Though the rough diamond market continues to experience volatility‚ Petra has been encouraged by its trading results in these difficult markets. In view of the declining medium and long term supply of rough diamonds‚ combined with the advancement of our development programmes to increase production to 5 million carats in FY 2019‚ Petra is poised to continue its rapid development as a market leading diamond mining company‚” said Dippenaar. - I-Net Bridge


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