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Imperial Tobacco to Meet Profit Forecast

Imperial Tobacco Group, which makes Lambert & Butler and Embassy cigarettes, said Tuesday it expects full-year earnings to meet its forecasts after the company cut costs and won market share.

The company, which also makes Davidoff and West cigarettes, did not provide specific financial figures.

"We have again increased our cigarette volumes year on year, further building on our good organic growth in the previous 18 months," said Chief Executive Gareth Davis.

Duty-paid cigarette volumes in the U.K. have remained stable year on year and fine cut tobacco volumes have increased, although the company estimates the annual duty-paid cigarette market may shrink by up to 4% in the current financial year once a nationwide ban on smoking in public places is introduced.

In the rest of the world, cigarette volumes grew, notably in Central Europe.

Earlier this month, Imperial Tobacco bought 66% stake in the Estonian distribution company, Tremaco, and the trademark rights to three cigarette brands.

The shares dipped 0.8% to 2,107 pence ($41.27) in London.

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