Alexa

Imperial Tobacco says 1st-half profit rose 6 percent

Imperial Tobacco says 1st-half profit rose 6 percent

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC said Tuesday that first-half profit rose 6 percent as the volume of cigarette sales continued to rise and that it was hopeful the board of Altadis SA would recommend its euro12.03 billion (US$16.4 billion) approach.
The world's fourth largest tobacco maker, whose brands include Lambert & Butler, Davidoff, West and JPS cigarettes, said profit rose to 421 million pounds (euro617 million; US$842 million) in the six months ended March 31, compared with 397 million pounds in the same period a year ago.
Revenue rose 1 percent to 1.5 billion pounds (euro2.2 billion; US$3 billion), while cigarette production was up 5 percent to 90.7 billion.
Chief Executive Gareth Davis said on a conference call that Imperial had met with its Spanish-French bid target in recent days, and was hopeful of further progress in its planned takeover of Altadis.
But Davis said that while an Altadis deal was desirable, it was not crucial.
"At the end of the day, we have a tremendous organic growth record," he said, adding, "There's plenty of other stuff to do if this doesn't come off. ... We won't be around forever on this one."
Altadis rejected Imperial Tobacco's approach on April 10. The company, which has brands including Gauloises, Gitanes and Ducados, said Imperial's offer _ up 4.4 percent from a previous approach _ does not "reflect the strategic value of the company, nor the diversity of its unique assets."
An acquisition of Altadis would see Imperial close the gap on its rivals _ Atria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris business, Japan Tobacco Inc. and British American Tobacco PLC.
This month, Imperial completed its acquisition of Commonwealth Brands, the fourth-largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, for US$1.9 billion (euro1.4 billion). Kentucky-based Commonwealth Brands, maker of discount brands USA Gold and Sonoma, has an estimated 3.7 percent of the US$376 billion (euro276 billion) U.S. market.
Imperial shares rose 0.4 percent to 2,185 pence (euro32.00; US$43.61) on the London Stock Exchange.
"Love them or loathe them, today's figures from Imperial show that tobacco companies have lost none of their dependability for progressing profits," said Keith Bowman, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers.
Imperial, which also makes Embassy cigarettes, sells cigars and cigarettes in more than 130 countries and employs about 14,500 people.
___
On the Net:
http://www.imperial-tobacco.com


Updated : 2021-04-11 18:13 GMT+08:00