De Beers recently acknowledged that it had raised prices twice this year, and hinted a third increase might be coming soon.
De Beers Managing Director Gary Ralfe said the trade should now expect more regular, smaller price increases from De Beers, instead of the rare big ones that used to be its method.
He also updated people on the new De Beers retail chain, saying there will be three De Beers retail store will opening in Japan in September, and a retail store in New York in 2004.
Ralfe also told the Financial Times that it was “unthinkable” that De Beers was not allowed in the United States, and that he was confident that De Beers would eventually be let into America, its largest market.
De Beers announced that sales by the DTC for the first six months of 2003 totaled $2.92 billion, 2.75% higher than the equivalent period in 2002.
De Beers results for the first six months include headline earnings of $414 million, 34% higher than the first half of 2002. Diamond stocks were reduced by over $600 million.
A De Beers statement said “If the strong demand for rough diamond continues through the second half, De Beers’ results for the year as a whole should be ahead of the previous year.” It also said that “retail sales have shown signs of recovery in line with growing consumer confidence and global retail sales of diamond jewelry for the first half of 2003 are anticipated to be flat to slightly positive compared to the first half of last year.”
De Beers also received a $2.5 billion revolving credit facility that will refinance the company’s existing $4.55 billion loan.