RIAL Tobacco said it was on track to meet its full-year targets yesterday despite ongoing turbulence in Iraq leading to a five per cent fall in tobacco volumes.
Even after the fall in underlying volumes, the company saw sales of its more profitable products, such as Davidoff, surge 15 per cent.
The strength of the firm’s growth brand range, which now accounts for 48 per cent of net revenues and 51 per cent of total volumes, came at the expense of its more established portfolio range.
The decline in tobacco volumes dragged on revenues, which fell year-on-year from £12.6bn to £12.1bn during the first half.
Despite the decline of its traditional range, Imperial saw its pre-tax profits surge to £1.1bn during the six months ending 31 March, up from £639m during the same period last year.
Imperial increased its dividend by 10 per cent to 42.8p per share.
Shares closed up 1.76 per cent.