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    Alrosa net profit declines 25.7% in 2006

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    MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond producer, said Wednesday its net profit, calculated to Russian Accounting Standards, had declined 25.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2006, to 4.8 billion rubles (about $177 million).

    Alrosa, which accounts for almost 100% of diamonds mined in Russia, and for about 20% of world diamond output, attributed lower profits to reduced demand.

    Alrosa, whose sales totaled $3.1 billion in 2005, including diamonds mined in Africa, said its earnings had decreased 2.7% in the reporting period, to 36.41 billion rubles (about $1.3 billion), and that pre-tax profit had fallen 11.2%, to 7.6 billion rubles (about $281 million).

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