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BHP's 1H Diamond Revenue -44%

Former Rio Tinto Diamond Chief Joins as Group CEO

Feb 20, 2013 1:37 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... BHP Billiton reported that revenue from its diamond operations fell 44 percent year on year ‎to $199 million in the six months that ended on December 31, 2012. Underlying earnings ‎before interest and tax fell to a deficit of $37 million compared with a profit of $120 million a year ‎earlier. ‎  BHP Billiton noted that lower production at the Ekati mine was the major contributing factor to ‎the decline.

The group’s diamond production, comprised of its 80 percent stake in Ekati, fell 35 ‎percent to 608,000 carats during the period.‎ BHP Billiton recently agreed to sell its interest in Ekati to Harry Winston Diamond Corporation ‎for $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2013. ‎

Net operating assets of the diamond division were valued at $487 million on December 31, down from $815 million a year earlier. ‎

BHP Billiton’s group revenue fell 14 percent to $32.2 billion during the first half, while profit ‎attributable to shareholders declined 58 percent to $4.24 billion. ‎

The company announced that its CEO, Marius Kloppers, will step down from his ‎position on May 10 and will be  replaced by Neil Mackenzie, the former head of Rio Tinto’s ‎diamond and minerals division. Mackenzie joined BHP Billiton in 2007 and is currently heading  ‎the group’s non-ferrous metals unit. ‎
Tags: Avi Krawitz, BHP Billiton, diamonds, ekati, Harry Winston, Marius Kloppers, Neil Mackenzie, Rapaport
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