Imperial Tobacco warns of weakness in EU and Eastern Europe

Imperial Tobacco has reported it is on track to deliver full-year performance in line with expectations after making good progress to reform its strategy in the nine months ending 30 June 2013 (release).

Since its half yearly report, Imperial Tobacco said it had realigned its “geographic footprint” based on the markets set to generate returns or growth rather than geographic proximity.

The company said a number of markets in the EU and Eastern Europe remain weak, but reported good performances in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

It added its cost saving programme aiming to delvier £300m of savings per annum from September 2018 was making good progress, with at least £30m expected to be realised this year.

Commenting, chief executive Alison Cooper said:

I'm pleased with the significant progress we're making with the strategic transition of the business, which is strengthening our sustainable sales growth capabilities and optimising our costs in line with our strategy.

Our full year expectations remain unchanged. We continue to focus on maximising opportunities for our total tobacco portfolio in the EU against a backdrop of weak industry volumes and are driving good in-market performances in Asia-Pacific and Africa and Middle East, with our share improving in many markets.

Whilst opportunities to grow sales in the short term are being impacted by the environment challenges, we remain focused on generating high quality returns and sustainable growth from our portfolio.