De Beers keeps its sparkle

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

The diamond market seemed to be shrugging off the consumer slowdown and the negative publicity caused by the Oscar-nominated film Blood Diamond last year, De Beers' interim results showed.

Despite supply constraints, a stronger price for rough diamonds resulted in underlying earnings in the six months to June 30 rising 5percent to $324million.

This means a $156million profit contribution to Anglo American, which holds a 45percent stake in the company.

The group said that while consumer demand was holding up, sales of unpolished stones were down 7percent to $3,4billion in the first half of the year due to difficulties in sourcing supplies.

De Beers is winding down a deal to buy diamonds from Russia's Alrosa after the European Commission last year raised concerns that the relationship would tighten the South African firm's grip on the market.