Imperial Brands has said that the terms of its recent exit from Russia did not include a clause allowing it to buy back its business there in future, in contrast to deals struck by some other companies since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
The maker of Winston cigarettes and Backwoods cigars, which also reported a small rise in first-half sales, had said in April 'investors based in Russia' were buying its business there, which contributed about 2% to annual net sales when combined with Ukraine.
During an earnings call on Tuesday, executives said the transaction was closed and there's "absolutely no clause of buyback in there".
On Monday, Renault said it would sell its majority stake in carmaker Avtovaz a Russian science institute reportedly for just one rouble with a six-year option to buy it back, leaving the door open for the French carmaker's return.
Imperial Brands Half-Year
Imperial Brands reported adjusted net revenue of about £3.5 billion (€4.16 billion), up 0.3% in constant currencies, for the six months ended March 31, as demand for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products helped make up for lower tobacco volumes.
“These results provide further evidence that we have achieved the stabilisation of our core combustible business," commented Stefan Bomhard, chief executive.
"During the first half of the year, we increased aggregate market share in the five priority markets which account for around 70% of our operating profit, while maintaining pricing discipline. This strong performance is an outcome of our tighter performance management and disciplined investment in sales execution and brand building."
The group said that it has also undertaken a number of 'successful' trials in 'next generation products' (NGP), such as heated tobacco and vapour products.
“Our focus for the remainder of 2022 will be to invest further in our five priority markets and begin the roll-out of our NGP strategy," Bomhard added.