British tobacco company Imperial Brands forecast full-year net revenue to be broadly flat and in line with market estimates, as it works through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The forecast is slightly above guidance provided at its half-year results, the maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes said in its first indication of performance under CEO Stefan Bomhard, who joined in July.
However, the company forecast earnings per share down around 6%, also in line with market expectations it said, due to increasing its provisions as a result of COVID-19-related uncertainties.
"Imperial has continued to show resilience in adapting to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and our priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our people across our operations," commented Stefan Bomhard, chief executive.
“In my first three months as CEO I have focused on reviewing our strategy, engaging with employees, and visiting as many of our key markets as possible. I have been struck by the energy and passion of my colleagues, which increases my confidence in our ability to deliver a stronger performance in the years ahead."
The company said that it posted 'better than expected' tobacco volumes, driven by improved volume trends in a number of key European markets and in the US, which have offset losses in the duty free channel.
'Overall, we expect tobacco net revenue to increase by around 1% at constant currency,' the company said.