Higher cigarette prices lift Imperial Brands full-year revenue

(Reuters) – Tobacco group Imperial Brands reported a slight uptick in its full-year sales on Tuesday, aided by higher cigarette prices that more than offset a decline in volumes.

The maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes reported organic adjusted group revenue of 7.59 billion pounds ($10.20 billion), up 1.4% in constant currencies, for the full year ended Sept. 30.

The company said it raised tobacco prices by 4.4% during the year that helped offset a 2.9% decline in overall volumes.

Sales of next-generation products such as e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating products fell 3.9% during the year, in part due to the company’s exit from some markets.

Chief Executive Officer Stefan Bomhard has been trying to steady the business after years of sluggish sales by doubling down on selling cigarettes in its top five profit-growth markets and narrowing e-cigarette sales to a few markets such as the United States.

Adjusted earnings per share for the company that makes blu e-cigarettes came in at 247.1 pence for the reported period, beating average estimate of 244.5 pence analysts had forecast, according to Refinitiv data.

The company said it is expecting net revenue growth in fiscal 2022 to be at a similar rate as 2021, while adjusted operating profit will be slightly slower than net revenue due to higher investments.

($1 = 0.7444 pounds)

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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