TINA COOK | CHARLES STANLEY
The firm benefits from cost savings, supportive £500m share buyback and a commitment to progressively raise the dividend payout ratio from 50 per cent in 2011. Volumes have stabilised and pricing momentum remains intact.
We remain comfortable with our accumulate recommendation.
MARTIN DEBOO | INVESTEC
Imperial needed to post a reassuring quarter and they look to have done so. Top line performance accelerated but more convincing around the organic growth outlook needs to be done, but Imperial is that rare beast – a defensive stock that is relatively cheap.
RICHARD CURR | PRIME MARKETS
The statement shows sales have been driven by emerging markets growth, with recent price increases partly offsetting the fall in Spanish volumes. Given the solid fundamental outlook and exceptionally strong charting picture, the shares present an attractive opportunity.