Imperial Tobacco First-Half Earnings Rise 13%

Imperial Tobacco made no mention of its attempted takeover of Spanish rival Altadis alongside interim results, which revealed a 13% rise in first-half earnings, largely in-line with expectations. The world's fourth-largest cigarette group added that it anticipates the full-year outcome meeting expectations.

In the six months to end-March, adjusted earnings per share, before restructuring costs and other charges, rose to 61.4 pence from 54.4 in the same period last year. Adjusted pretax profits climbed 5% to £557 million ($1.114 billion). Analysts were expecting earnings of around 60.0 pence and profit of £552 million, according to four forecasts collated by Thomson Financial News.

Imperial said profits grew as its global cigarette volumes grew by 5 pct and it gained market share across all regions.

Adjusted operating profit climbed 7% to £663 million ($1.326 billion), and the interim dividend was hiked 14% to 21.0 pence.