Tobacco price rises help Imperial Brands

Tobacco group Imperial Brands blamed disruption in Iraq and Syria for a drop in the amount of tobacco it sold in the final three months of 2015.

But the company, which dropped the word “tobacco” from its name earlier this month, said that price rises helped its revenues increase by 16.6 per cent in spite of a 3 per cent fall in its volumes, writes Peter Campbell.

Iraq and Syria accounted for 4.4 per cent of the fall, it said.

Last year the group bought US brands from Reynolds American for $7.1bn. Once the contributions from these was stripped out, the group’s volumes fell by 9.1 per cent in the three months to December 31.

The decline of cigarettes in western markets has led to the group to embark on a cost cutting programme. It plans to save £55m this year as part of a plan to cut £300m of costs by 2018.

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