BAT confident on full year growth as H1 sales rise 4 percent

LONDON, July 31 Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:13am EDT

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LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - British American Tobacco said it was confident of another year of good earnings growth as price rises helped it push sales up 4 percent in the first half of the year.

The world's No.2 cigarette maker, whose brands include Kent, Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, on Wednesday said its half year volumes were down 3.4 percent at 332 billion cigarettes, while price rises pushed up its underlying half year sales by 4 percent at constant exchange rates to 7.75 billion pounds.

The company posted half-year adjusted diluted earnings per share which rose 10 percent to 111.1 pence, ahead of a company-compiled consensus forecast of 109.7 pence.