Imperial shares rise after sales boost

Imperial Tobacco, the world's fourth-biggest cigarette maker, posted a five per cent rise in quarterly sales and saw its shares rise this morning

Imperial, with cigarette brands including Lambert & Butler, West and Gauloises, was reporting on its first-quarter trading from October to December 2010 on Wednesday within its current financial year to end-September 2011.

The group said its cigarette volumes rose 0.5 per cent in the quarter and when adding in fine-cut loose tobacco, then stick equivalent volumes rose 1.2 per cent.

Chief executive Alison Cooper said in a statement: "We made a good start to the year with underlying tobacco revenues up five per cent."