Imperial sees volumes fall

Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-biggest cigarette maker, said yesterday its half-year cigarette volumes will be down around four per cent as it reported trading in line with its expectations.
Imperial, with cigarette brands including Lambert & Butler, West and Gauloises, said the half-year dip was due to a supply chain disruption in the Middle East and also market weakness in some eastern european countries, the United States and Spain. Despite the downturn, Imperial has been able to raise cigarette prices in a number of markets since last September to help offset the impact of increasing leaf costs, it said. Imperial is the number two cigarette maker in Europe after Philip Morris International