Eurozone crisis hits Imperial Tobacco earnings

Suzie Neuwirth

FTSE 100-listed Imperial Tobacco today announced that earnings per share plunged 23 per cent for the half year, with weak EU markets impacting results.

The tobacco giant posted revenues down 4.2 per cent to £13.38bn for the six months to 31 March 2013, compared to the same period the previous year. Operating profits were down ten per cent for the period.

“The resilience we're showing in a deteriorating EU environment demonstrates the strength and versatility of our unique total tobacco portfolio,” said chief executive Alison Cooper.

“Further afield, excise-driven market dynamics in Russia and our transition to a new pricing strategy in the USA slowed our revenue and profit momentum in non-EU territories, masking the good growth we're generating in Asia-Pacific and Africa and the Middle East.

“In January we said these headwinds would affect our first half results and in line with our strategy we've been implementing portfolio and cost initiatives to strengthen delivery in the second half and into 2014.”