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Trading statements

Petra Diamonds cheers production rise

24 July 2017 08:15

Petra Diamonds has reported record levels of production and revenue for 2017 after the diamond market remained stable throughout the year.

Production rose 8% to 4.0 Mcts and revenue increased 11% to $477 million.

The diamond market remained stable, with rough diamond prices up 2% for the year.

Absolute operating costs remained in-line with expectations despite inflationary pressures, but the unit cost per tonne was adversely affected by the high fixed cost base and below plan throughput.

In 2018, production is expected to increase by 23% and have a marked rise in the proportion of higher value ROM carat production, as opposed to lower value tailings carat production.

The company said this is expected to lead to an improved product mix resulting in a higher average value per carat.

Johan Dippenaar, chief executive of Petra Diamonds, said: "The company has a strong balance sheet in place to deliver on the final stages of its expansion programmes. Petra's investment case therefore remains the same, as the forthcoming step-change in production and revenue is expected to see debt levels start to fall in FY 2018 and the company become free cashflow positive during the year."

At 8:15am: (LON:PDL) Petra Diamonds Ltd share price was -3p at 106.8p

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