StockMarketWire.com - Tobacco giant British American Tobacco booked a 4.5% fall in first-half profit after foreign exchange headwinds hurt sales, though it stuck to its full-year guidance.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June decreased to £4.38 billion, down from £4.59 billion year-on-year, as revenue slipped 0.8% to £12.18 billion.

On a constant currency basis, revenue rose 8.1%, led by 41% growth in the 'new categories' business, which includes vaping.

For the full year, British American Tobacco said it expected to achieve mid-single figure constant currency adjusted earnings per share growth, with constant currency revenue growth above 5%.

On dividends, the company said it was committed to a 65% pay-out ratio and growth in sterling terms.

'Our rapid growth in new Categories is driving significant scale benefits and 2021 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in our journey towards a better tomorrow,' chief executive Jack Bowles said.

'There is great momentum across the business and we are well on track to meet our targets of £5 billion of new category revenue by 2025 and 50 million non-combustible product consumers by 2030.'


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