StockMarketWire.com - British American Tobacco reported Thursday a sharp increase in first-half profits and revenues as cigarette volumes grew.

For the six months to 30 June, reported operating profit jumped 72.4% to £4.44bn and revenue increased 56.9% to £11.64bn.

Adjusted operating profit fell 5.4% to £4.82bn, revenue increased fell 1.9% to £11.53bn on a representative basis, which reflects performance as though the group had owned the acquisitions made in 2017 for the whole of that year.

Cigarettes and THP volume rose 11% to 348.3bn on a reported basis, driven by the acquisition of Reynolds American and good pricing.

Revenues were partly offset, however, by an 8% hit from a stronger pound.

'The foreign exchange impact on the Group's results was a headwind of 8% for the first six months of the year and is estimated to be 5-6% for the full year, based upon the current foreign exchange rates,' the company said.

Growth was also supported by upbeat results in the company's next generation products, which include vapour and THP, as adjusted revenues climbed 167% to £427m.

'Despite the recent slowdown in the THP category in some markets, including Japan and South Korea, we remain confident of exceeding £1 billion of reported revenue in NGP in 2018 as we expect a range of new launches to re-energise growth in THP in the second half of the year,' the company said.

The group said cigarette market share in its key markets continued to grow very strongly, up 40 basis points.

'We anticipate another good year of adjusted earnings growth at constant rates of exchange,' said Nicandro Durante, Chief Executive. An interim dividend of 48.8p was declared.





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