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Altadis Posts 6% Increase in First-Quarter Net Profit

European tobacco company Altadis said Thursday first-quarter net profit rose more than 6%, recovering after a damaging price war a year earlier.

The manufacturer of Fortuna and Gitanes, which is currently the object of two rival takeover offers, said net profit rose to 110.1 million euros ($149.02 million) in the first three months of the year from 103.7 million euros a year earlier. Revenue was little changed at 931.4 million euros ($1260.65 million) compared with 929.9 million euros.

The modest recovery takes place after an intense price war and wider anti-smoking restrictions in Spain and France.

Altadis' shares have risen nearly 25% since Imperial Tobacco Group first approached the company in March with a bid of 45 euros ($60.91) a share, which Altadis turned down. The British company was again rebuffed when it returned with a higher bid of 47 euros ($63.61) a share in April - an offer that valued Altadis at 12.03 billion euros ($16.28 billion).

Earlier this, month, a group formed by CVC Capital Partners and PAI Partners made a rival offer of 12.8 billion euros ($17.32 billion), or 50 euros ($67.68) a share. Altadis shares were down 0.2% at 50.55 euros ($68.42) in Madrid.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization - Altadis' preferred measure of profitability - rose close to 7% to 267.8 million euros ($362.47 million).

Altadis is also the world's leading cigar distributor through its 50-50 venture with the Cuban state-owned cigar company Habanos SA.

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