British American Tobacco (BAT) today backed its full-year guidance, saying plans to deleverage the business remain on track.
The tobacco firm, which owns cigarette brands such as Dunhill and Lucky Strike, said it will exceed its high single-figure earnings per share growth, despite a six per cent currency impact.
In a trading update BAT said it expects positive revenue and operating profit growth, weighed down in the second half of the year.
The company said its plans to deleverage the business are in line with expectations, with net debt reducing roughly 0.4 times per year.
It said it is “well-placed” to manage any US regulations outlawing menthol cigarettes, insisting that any legislation should be based on a “thorough review of the science”.
Chief executive Nicandro Durante said: “We remain on track for a strong performance in 2018 – driven by both our combustible and potentially reduced risk products businesses.
“In the US, we are performing well, with positive pricing and continued value share growth. Our deleveraging remains on track and we remain committed to a dividend payout ratio of at least 65 per cent.
“We expect to exceed our high single-figure adjusted diluted earnings per share growth at constant rates of exchange.”