Imperial Tobacco trading in line

City A.M. Reporter
Imperial Tobacco expects its half year revenues to rise around two per cent as it said trading for its financial year was in line with management expectations.

Imperial, with cigarette brands including Lambert & Butler, West and Gauloises, said its cigarette volumes declined one per cent in its half-year to end-March due to a shift in trade buying towards the second half of its year from the first half.

The group said Spain remains a challenging market due to a duty increase in December, a ban on smoking in public places and the on-going weak economy.

Imperial has suffered from falling cigarette volumes in the economic downturn but has offset this by price rises, on-going cost savings and growth in its fine-cut loose tobacco as it awaits a pickup in some of its key tobacco markets.