• May 26, 2024

Business heating up

 Business heating up

Alison Cooper

Imperial Brand’s total tobacco volume during the six months to the end of March, at 123.6 billion stick-equivalents, was down by 2.1 percent on that of the six months to the end of March 2017, 126.3. Stick-equivalent volume is said to include cigarette, fine-cut tobacco, cigar and snus volumes.
During the same period, the company’s Growth Brand volume was increased by 6.3 percent, from 73.0 billion to 77.6 billion.
In the US, Stick-equivalent volume was down by 3.7 percent to 10.8 billion.
Imperial’s tobacco net revenue during the six months to the end of March, at £3,531 million, was down by 5.0 percent on that of the six months to the end of March 2017, £3,716 million.
Tobacco adjusted operating profit was down by 8.0 percent to £1,533 million, while logistics adjusted operating profit increased by 20.7 percent to £99 million, and total adjusted operating profit fell by 6.7 percent to £1,624 million.
Adjusted earnings per share were down by 6.2 percent to 114.3p.
Commenting on Imperial’s interim results, which were issued today, chief executive, Alison Cooper, said Imperial was continuing to make good progress in both tobacco and next generation products (NGP).
“Investment in our key tobacco brand equities has strengthened our position in our priority markets, with further share gains driven by Growth Brands,” Cooper was quoted as saying.
“Within a tough but improving environment, we exited the first half with much stronger price/mix and expect to convert our improved share into top-line growth in the second half.
“In NGP our product and market launches are on track. My blu is generating positive trade and consumer feedback and we continue to invest in developing our pipeline of proprietary innovations, including heated tobacco, to enhance the consumer experience and realise our growth ambitions.
“As we sharpen our focus on the brands, products and markets that are central to our strategy, we are progressing opportunities for divestments, initially targeting proceeds of up to £2 billion within the next 12-24 months. This will further simplify the business, enhance performance and release capital to pay down debt, deliver returns to our shareholders and, where appropriate, invest in our growth agenda.”