Imperial Tobacco has reported a profit before tax of £648m for the six months to 31 March, down from the £830m seen over the same period the previous year.
The company's revenue suffered a five per cent decline to £12.7bn, with adjusted earnings per share edging down by one per cent to 89.6p.
However, there were a series of encouraging signs for the tobacco giant. Growth brands underlying volumes outperformed the market and climbed four per cent, with underlying net tobacco revenue in growth markets rising by as much as seven per cent.
There was a similar story with specialist brands which enjoyed a rise in underlying net tobacco revenue of six per cent.
Alison Cooper, chief executive, said:
We continue to drive our strategy to build the quality and sustainability of the business. Our stock optimisation programme has inevitably impacted some of our numbers but I'm pleased with our underlying performance.
Imperial Tobacco is now set to deliver £60m of incremental savings for the full year as part of the company's cost optimisation programme.