De Beers FD confident of survival

The finance director of diamond mining company DeBeers has said he is confident that the company could survive two more years of recession, even if turnover halved in 2009. 'Trading conditions are tough,' finance director Stuart Brown told the FT. 'But because we saw it early and took very dramatic steps around the business, we are in a position to weather trade in 2009 and 2010 without any recourse to shareholder funds.' 'Our plan for 2009 sees us remaining profitable, cash neutral and meeting covenants on our loans, even if overall turnover drops by 50%,' he added. De Beers disputed Barclay's allegations that the company lost $100m (£68m) a month in the first quarter of 2009. Last week however, the company announced it had stopped diamond exploration in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to financial constraints as a result of the economic downturn.
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