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Luxury cigars boost growth

Bristol-based Imperial Tobacco reported "excellent" growth in the emerging markets for its Cuban cigars and a three per cent increase in tobacco net revenue for the nine months to 30 June 2012.

The Bedminster-based business said its overall financial position and operational performance is in line with market expectations.

The company said it has been boosted by its “strong growth record” in cigars, with volumes of luxury Cuban cigars growing by one per cent in total and by ten per cent in emerging markets.

Equivalent sales in cigarettes fell by three per cent.

Imperial said it will “continue to vigorously challenge” anti-smoking measures such as plain packaging. The company added that the proposals are “not based on credible evidence” and will “only serve to fuel the illegal trade in tobacco”.

Chief executive Alison Cooper added: "This good performance builds on the positive sales momentum we are generating across our total tobacco portfolio in both EU and Non-EU markets.

“I am particularly pleased with the quality of the volume and revenue growth we're achieving with our key strategic brands Davidoff, Gauloises Blondes, West and JPS which now account for almost a third of our total stick equivalent volumes.”

She said: “Consistently applying our sales growth drivers to enhance sales across our regions is our priority for the remainder of the year. Challenging conditions persist in some markets but we have a strong record of delivering growth in this environment and remain in a good position to continue maximising value for shareholders.”

Imperial Tobacco posted a pre-tax profit of £1.1 billion for the six months to 31 March 2012.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Source: South West Business

Luxury cigars boost growth