GO
Loading...

BAT First-Half Earnings Rise 9%, but Slower Growth Predicted

British American Tobacco beat forecasts with a 9% rise in first-half earnings on Thursday, but said profits growth would slow in the second half due to excise tax rises and increased investment.

BAT, the world's second-biggest cigarette maker after Altria's Philip Morris and which makes Lucky Strike, Kent, Dunhill and Pall Mall cigarettes, posted first-half adjusted diluted earnings per share of 53.51 pence ($1.10), ahead of analysts forecasts of 50.3 to 53p and a consensus of 51.9p in a Reuters poll.

Chairman Jan du Plessis warned that there have recently been significant excise tax rises in a number of key markets while the level of investment in its distribution to roll out its top cigarette brands is set to rise over the next few months.

"We therefore expect our growth in profit from operations at comparable rates of exchange to slow in the second half of the year," he said in a results statement.

First-half operating profits rose 13% to 1.492 billion pounds, while its dividend was up 18% to 18.6p.

BAT reported cigarette volumes fell 2% in the first-half to 330 billion cigarettes, after a 3%volumes fall in the first-quarter.

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • CNBC's Bob Pisani reports from the ETF Conference in Hollywood, Florida on growing competition in the ETF space where four major players have 90% of the market., and mutual fund managers and hedge funds are beginning to take notice.

  • Will Power, Senior Research Analyst, Robert W. Baird & Co., discusses whether Apple can continue to make gains, particularly in light of new competition in China.

  • Steve Massocca, Wedbush Equity Management, and Gary Thayer, Wells Fargo Investment Institute, discuss whether the possibility of Greece pulling out of the euro could significantly impact the US markets.