British American Tobacco Stands By Full-Year Target
British American Tobacco (BAT), the world's second-biggest international tobacco company by revenue, has stood by its full-year forecast.
The maker of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes said that it still plans to exceed its target for high single-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share for 2018, excluding a currency impact of around 6%.
Adjusted revenue and operating profit growth will be weighted toward the second half of the year, it noted, fuelled by market share gains in cigarettes and growth in e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating devices.
BAT reiterated that those cigarette alternatives will reach £900 million of revenue this year.
In the United States, a key market for BAT, volume is in line with expectations, with the industry-wide volume of cigarettes expected to fall by 4% to 4.5% this year, it noted.
The company's shares have fallen by nearly 47% this year, due largely to uncertainty around the regulation of menthol cigarettes in the United States, a market in which BAT is big. On Wednesday, the company noted that it was 'well placed to manage US regulatory proposals' and that it was 'constructively engaging' regulators.
It noted that its deleveraging remained on track, and that its net debt to adjusted EBITDA would be around 3.9 times by the end of 2018, at current exchange rates.