Home Estate Planning De Beers sales dip adds to Anglo American woes

De Beers sales dip adds to Anglo American woes

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Sales at South African-British diamond merchant De Beers have fallen, the firm reported today, adding to the woes of its owner Anglo American.

While Christmas shoppers helped boost diamond sales to $370m during the period December 19 to January 31, this was much lower than the $454m it reported for the same period last year.

De Beers chief executive Al Cook said today that “macro economic challenges” had weighed down on the most recent trading figures.

“As the prospects for economic growth in many major economies remain uncertain, we expect that it may take some time for rough diamond demand to fully recover,” Cook said.

Demand for natural diamonds has also been dented by the proliferation of cheaper lab-grown gemstones.

The news adds to pressures of its owner Anglo American, which owns 85 per cent of the company.

The FTSE 100 miner’s share price has fallen over 40 per cent in the last year.

Shares dropped sharply in late December after the firm outlined plans to slash mineral production to cut costs and boost profitability.

The company’s fourth quarter production report is due on February 8.

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