London-listed Petra Diamonds (PDL.L) said on Thursday it expected a difficult operating environment going into 2009 and that it saw conditions improving by the end of 2010.

We are readying ourselves for extremely tough conditions. The most optimistic is to expect an improvement towards the end of (2009), but we are preparing ourselves for an improvement towards the end of next year, Chief Executive Johan Dippenaar said during a media visit to the company's Cullinan diamond mine. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak)

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