De Beers Reports Lower Production & Sales in 2019

London: De Beers has reported lower production, sales and underlying earnings for 2019 as it faced “significant challenges for rough diamond demand”.

It predicted the return to “a more balanced position” of stock levels and an increase in production in 2020 in its preliminary financial results for last year, published recently.

But it sounded a note of caution over a range of risks, namely retailer destocking a result of increased online purchasing, coronavirus and tensions in the Middle East.

Production for the year was down 12.8 per cent at 30,776,000 carats, primarily driven by a significant reduction of 59 percent in South Africa.

Total group revenue was down almost a quarter (24.3 per cent) at $4.6 billion (2018: $6.1 billion) and sales volume was down 7.8 percent to 29,186,000 carats.

Underlying earnings (EBITDA) were driven down 55 percent, at $558 million, because of the lower sales volumes and lower rough diamond prices.

De Beers said demand for rough diamonds had been lower and global consumer demand for diamond jewelry had been flat.