September 5, 2018 / 6:12 AM / 2 months ago

Gem Diamonds revenue jumps on high-value stone gains

(Reuters) - Gem Diamonds Ltd (GEMD.L) reported an 80 percent jump in first-half revenue on Wednesday as it recovered a record number of large, high-value diamonds and the average price per carat climbed.

Total pre-tax profit for the company, which operates the Letseng mine in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho, surged to $64.8 million (£50.38 million) in the first half from $2.3 million a year earlier.

Revenue jumped to $167.7 million in the six months ended June 30 from $92.9 million in the year-earlier period.

Gem Diamonds said average prices jumped 54.1 percent year-on-year to $2,742 per carat for diamonds mined out of the Letseng mine.

The mine recovered 10 diamonds greater than 100 carats, setting a record, Gem Diamonds said, as the company undertook measures last year to unlock additional value at the mine.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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