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Imperial Brands Beats Annual Adjusted Profit Estimates

British tobacco firm Imperial Brands reported higher full-year revenue and better-than-expected adjusted profit, helped by market share gains.

The maker of Gauloises and Winston cigarettes reported revenue of £30.5 billion (€35 billion) for the full year ended 30 September, up from £30.2 billion (€34.6 billion).

Reported earnings per share fell 2.7%, to 143.6p, hurt by a write-off related to the bankruptcy of distributor Palmer & Harvey and foreign exchange rates.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings were 272.2p per share, topping analysts' average estimate of 269.3p, a company-supplied consensus showed.

Outlook

For the year ahead, Imperial said that it expects to deliver constant-currency revenue growth at or above the upper end of a 1%-4% growth range.

It plans to increase investment in its e-cigarette brand Blu by around £100 million (€114.5 million) in the first half, which will result in a slightly lower adjusted operating profit in the half, which will be more than offset in the second half.

It expects its next-generation device business to begin contributing to group profit as it exits fiscal year 2019, with margins continuing to build thereafter.

It stood by its medium-term guidance for constant-currency earnings-per-share growth of 4% to 8%.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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