Cullinan diamond sale boosts Petra

Petra diamonds, the largest diamond producer on London's junior AIM market, posted better-than-expected annual results yesterday, boosted by the sale of the 507-carat Cullinan Heritage diamond.

It swung to a record net profit of $70.2m (£45m) for the year to end June from a loss of $89m the previous year. Revenues jumped 88 per cent after it received $35.3m for the Cullinan Heritage, a record price for a rough diamond, and on a recovery in gem prices.

The company produced 1.16 million carats and said expansion plans are on target to more than double production by 2014 and more than triple output by 2019. Petra also said it is in talks to buy the Finsch and Namaqualand mines in South Africa from De Beers.

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