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BHP Billiton's Diamond Revenue -30%

Aug 22, 2012 2:29 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... BHP Billiton reported that revenue from its diamond operations fell 30 percent year on year to $707 million during the ‎fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012. Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) declined 58 percent to $224 million. ‎

BHP Billiton explained that production at its 80 percent owned Ekati mine (pictured) in Canada was ‎the main contributing factor to the compression of operating margins, while diamond ‎prices were stronger than the previous year. ‎

The company’s diamond production fell 29 percent to 1.784 million carats during the ‎fiscal year. BHP Billiton stated that production at Ekati is expected to remain constrained ‎ as the operations extract lower grade material, consistent with the ‎mine plan. ‎

BHP Billiton did not provide separate data for the second half of its fiscal year, however, Rapaport calculations indicated that ‎the decline in diamond revenue accelerated in the second half. For the six ‎months that ended on June 30, BHP Billiton’s diamond revenue fell 40 percent year ‎on year to $350 million while EBIT dropped 69 percent to $104 million. ‎

BHP Billiton stated that its review of the diamond business, announced in ‎December ‎‎2011, is ongoing.‎

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Tags: Avi Krawitz, BHP Billiton, diamonds, ekati, Rapaport
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