LONDON, April 30 Imperial Tobacco said
it expects full year earnings per share to be at the lower end
of its 4-8 percent target range, as the Davidoff and Gauloises
cigarette maker posted a fall in profits amid the difficult
Imperial, the world's fourth-largest cigarette group by
market share, said adjusted earnings fell 3.1 percent to 90.2
pence a share for the six months to the end of March. Analysts
expected 90.3 pence a share on average, Reuters data showed.
"The resilience we're showing in a deteriorating EU
environment demonstrates the strength and versatility of our
unique total tobacco portfolio," said Chief Executive Alison
Cooper in a half year results statement on Tuesday.
"We expect to grow our full year earnings per share in line
with our earnings model, albeit at the lower end given the
difficult operating environment," she said.
Revenue from its key strategic brands rose 5 percent, while
volumes increased 1 percent. Its fine cut tobacco net revenue
rose 10 percent while volumes grew by 9 percent.
The Bristol-based company also increased its half year
dividend by 11 percent to 35.2 pence per share.