Petra Diamonds looks forward to Christmas trading after demand falls

 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Petra Diamonds is hoping for a rash of marriage proposals and jewellery purchases in the run-up to Christmas as it warned today of a lull in demand.

Despite reporting a record quarter for production, it said the current market was “exhibiting customary seasonal softness” and its shares fell nearly 3 per cent to 170p.

However, it expects the market to “firm up as usual towards the end of the calendar year”.

 

The October sale of its huge 232-carat Cullinan white diamond, which it found earlier this year, fell outside the first quarter and Shore Capital analyst Yuen Low questioned the timing of the sale.

He said: “We wonder whether the company should have waited a little bit [for the market to pick up], rather than selling the diamond for $15.2 million [£9.4 million].”

The company, which digs for stones in the famous Cullinan mine in South Africa, reported production in the quarter to the end of September up 2 per cent to 833,744 carats — its highest-ever quarterly total — while sales rose 55 per cent to $100.8 million. But the group said carats sold were down 10 per cent to 532,250.

Comments