Imperial Brands Expects Stronger Second Half, More Cost Savings
U.K. cigarette maker Imperial Brands Plc forecast stronger second-half earnings and raised its goal for cost savings this year after first-half profit beat estimates.
Efficiency measures will save 130 million pounds ($168 million) in the year through September, the maker of Gauloises and Kool cigarettes said in a statement Wednesday, boosting November’s forecast of 90 million pounds.
The increased target provides a boost for a company that previously warned of slowing profit growth this year as it invests 300 million pounds in its main brands and cuts weaker ones to defend its market share.
Imperial Brands faces increasing competition as larger rivals introduce heat-not-burn tobacco alternatives and after British American Tobacco Plc offered $47 billion to buy out Reynolds American Inc.
First-half adjusted operating profit fell 7.6 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.74 billion pounds, the company said. Analysts expected 1.65 billion pounds.