British American Tobacco cigarette sales expected to go up in smoke in the firm's interim results

Courtney Goldsmith
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Tobacco heating products have taken off in Japan (Source: Getty)

British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world's largest tobacco companies, is expected to reveal it sold fewer cigarettes over the past six months when it reports its half-year earnings this coming week.

Cooling demand for traditional cigarettes comes as BAT sees rising popularity for its "heat-not-burn" products in Japan.

The maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike brands is expected to report a 5.9 per cent drop in cigarette volumes for the six months to June when it reports its interim results on Thursday, according to analysts at Barclays.

The company's shareholders last week gave BAT the go-ahead for its $49bn (£37.7bn) takeover of US rival Reynolds.

The firm will take up the remaining 57.8 per cent of shares it doesn't own to create the world's biggest listed tobacco company.

Meanwhile, star fund manager Neil Woodford's Woodford Investment Management sold its entire stake in BAT earlier this month, it said in an update for investors.

The fund said it was keeping its position in rival Imperial Brands as its shares remain undervalued.

Read more: British American Tobacco adds Reynolds directors as $49bn deal nears end

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