Imperial Tobacco Group says it remains on track to acquire key U.S cigarette brands, as it reported a slight decline in nine-month revenue this morning.
The Bristol-based makers of the Rizla and Gauloises Blondes brands says it is on course to complete the acquisition of a collection of US cigarette brands from Reynolds American and Lorillard, including US ecigarette market leader Blu.
The company believes the US acquisitions will make them stronger in a "key growth market".
Net revenue fell one per cent in the nine months ending June 30, to £4.8bn. The company's growth brands are continuing to outperform the market however, with a market growth of 3 per cent.
Imperial's £4.9bn purchase of the American brands would see the company grow from fifth to third in the US tobacco market. The deal is expected to completed in 2015.
Chief executive of Imperial Tobacco, Alison Cooper, said in a statement:
I'm pleased with the continued improvement in the quality of our sales growth. The work we are doing in prioritising our brand portfolio is reflected in the strong performance of our growth brands, which are consistently growing ahead of the market and gaining share.We continue to focus on generating quality sustainable growth in our core tobacco business, whilst exploring new areas for long-term revenue growth.Our proposed acquisition of US assets will make us a stronger competitor in a significant profit pool and key growth market.