26 July 2018
Healthy diamond jewellery demand, combined with an ongoing focus on operational efficiency, supported the delivery of a solid performance.
Underlying market fundamentals remain strong in most of the main diamond consuming countries.
De Beers Group is investing in innovative projects and initiatives across the value chain to support the growth of the business and deliver benefits to the wider diamond industry.
A positive outlook for the sector is expected, based on anticipated economic conditions and industry investment.
Underlying EBITDA decreased by nine per cent to US$712 million, due to unit cost increases (to US$67/carat) driven by the impact of unfavourable exchange rate movements and waste mining costs having been expensed rather than capitalised, mitigated by higher production. EBITDA was also impacted by the lower trading margins experienced in the period.
Total revenue of US$3.2 billion was in line with the prior period (H1 2017: US$3.1 billion) – a solid result considering H1 revenues in the previous two years were supported by one-off events (industry restocking and recovery from demonetisation).
With rough diamond sales volumes slightly down on 2017, sales value was flat at US$2.9 billion.
Rough diamond production increased by eight per cent to 17.5 million carats, including the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kuè and in line with the expected continuation of strong demand.
Capex increased to US$156 million due to the planned increase in the capital expenditure on the Venetia Underground Project and the first half of 2018 not containing any of the capitalised profits from Gahcho Kué, which were included in the results for the first half of 2017.
Return on capital employed down three per cent on 2017 to eight per cent.
Broadcast-quality versions of these interviews are available for download here.