Petra sees surge in first-quarter revenues

FTSE 250 miner Petra Diamonds recorded a strong rise in revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year as production surged, while the firm announced that it has signed new debt facilities with a group of banks.

FTSE 250 miner Petra Diamonds recorded a strong rise in revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year as production surged, while the firm announced that it has signed new debt facilities with a group of banks.

Revenue in the quarter between July and September totalled $51.1m, up 188% on the $17.7m recorded the year before. Only one tender was held during this quarter due to the timing of industry holidays, the group said.

The second tender of this fiscal year closed in early October and achieved sales of $45.8m. The firm said that overall prices per carat this year continue to be in line with guidance.

Production increased by 70% year-on-year to 654.690 carats in the first quarter, mainly due to the inclusion of the Finsch mine for the full quarter, which was acquired last year.

Chief Executive Officer Johan Dippenaar said: "This is a further solid set of results, demonstrating that the company continues to deliver on its growth ambitions."

Petra said that "challenging labour relations" in the South African mining industry have affected work and caused brief stoppages at some of its operations in the country during October. However, the group assured that the lost production will to some extent be made up during the coming months. As such, there is no material change to its full-year output guidance of 2.85m carats.

Petra arranges up new debt agreements

The firm also revealed that it has entered into agreement with a group of banks with regards to new group debt facilities of $244m, which represent an increase and reorganisation of its existing debt arrangements, "providing greater assurance and flexibility with regards to the group's project expansion plans."

Dippenaar said: "This financing is an important and independent validation by the lenders of the quality of Petra's asset base and our strong management team.

"These facilities further strengthen our balance sheet and lend assurance to the company's ability to deliver on its core objective of rolling out its stated expansion plans and ramping up production to five million carats per annum by 2019."

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