Imperial lights up profits


Imperial lights up profits
Imperial Tobacco, the world's fourth largest international tobacco company, has revealed boosted sales and profits in the first half of the year.

The first six months up to the end of March saw profits up by 11 per cent from 2006's £592 million to £658 million while cigarette volumes increased from 83.3 billion by five per cent to 90.7 billion.

"In the first half of 2007 we delivered another strong performance, reflecting the continued successful execution of our growth strategy," Gareth Davis, chief executive, commented.

However the firm failed to mention its failed bid for Spanish tobacco firm Altadis last month. The April offer from Imperial was an improved proposal from the suggestion of €45 (£30.60) per share the previous month yet was still "unanimously" rejected by the board of Altadis.

In light of the sale and profits boost, Imperial asserted its confidence for the remainder of the year.

"I can confirm that the overall anticipated performance of the group for the financial year to September 30th 2007 remains in line with our expectations at the time of our March trading update," added Mr Davis.

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