By Michelle Graff
Diamond miner Alrosa said that diamond sales hit 39.6 million carats in 2014, a 4 percent increase compared with the prior-year period.
Moscow--Russian diamond miner Alrosa saw diamond sales increase in 2014 but was stung by the sharp depreciation of the ruble. 

According to full-year financials released Monday by the state-owned diamond mining company, it sold 39.6 million carats of diamonds in 2014, a 4 percent increase from the 38 million sold in 2013. 

Revenue from diamond sales increased 23 percent to $3.1 billion. 

Total revenue, including sales from Alrosa’s other segments, also was up 23 percent, rising from $2.91 billion in 2013 to $3.58 billion, with growth driven primarily by the higher diamond sales, according to the mining company. 

However, Alrosa recorded a net loss of $290.1 million during the fiscal year due to foreign exchange losses on its U.S. dollar-denominated debt as the ruble depreciated greatly.

Production for the full year, meanwhile, declined by 2 percent to 36.2 million carats. 

The average price of gem-quality rough diamonds sold in 2014 also was down, falling 3 percent from $176 to $171 per carat, as the average price growth in the market was not enough to offset the average price decrease due to a change in product mix.

Alrosa also reported that the cost of production was up 18 percent compared to the prior year. 

This was due to an increase in salaries/wages and other staff costs, extraction taxes, fuel and energy costs and materials and services, as well as the depreciation of the ruble.

Alrosa is the world’s No. 1 diamond producer in volume terms and No. 2 in value terms, behind only De Beers.  

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