Imperial Brands delays release of half-year earnings by two weeks due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Packs of Gauloises cigarettes are on display in a tobacco shop in Vienna, Austria, May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

(Reuters) - Tobacco company Imperial Brands Plc IMB.L said on Friday it would delay its interim half-year report for fiscal 2020 by two weeks to give auditors more time to prepare and review statements during the coronavirus crisis.

“With an already tight reporting timetable and with newly appointed auditors, we have therefore agreed with Ernst & Young that the steps both businesses are taking in relation to COVID‐19 mean it will take longer to prepare and review Imperial Brands’ interim financial results,” the company said in a statement.

The Winston and Gauloises Blondes cigarette maker will now release its statements for the six months to March 31, 2020 on May 19 instead of May 5.British regulators have given publicly traded companies an additional two months to prepare their financial statements, making the deadline six months from their financial year-end.

Earlier this month, Imperial said that despite the coronavirus pandemic hitting economies, trading was in line with expectations so far and it had not seen any material impact to its business.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri