Chairman's comments on the half-yearly report to 30 June 2011

A word from Richard Burrows


Richard Burrows

Richard Burrows, Chairman

British American Tobacco has had a very good half-year as a result of continued pricing momentum and an exceptionally strong performance from our Global Drive Brands, driven by the successful roll-out of innovations.

Organic revenue at constant rates of exchange grew by 7 per cent to £7,421 million and organic adjusted profit from operations at constant rates increased by 11 per cent to £2,724 million.

The very strong growth in profit from operations led to a 10 per cent improvement in adjusted diluted earnings per share to 96.1p. Profit from operations benefited from additional shipments to Japan.

The Board has declared an Interim Dividend of 38.1p per share, an increase of 15 per cent. As usual, the Interim Dividend has been set at one third of last year’s total dividend and it will be paid on 28 September to shareholders on the Register at 19 August 2011.

In addition, following the resumption of the share buy-back programme, some 13 million shares have been repurchased in the first half of the year at a cost of £335 million and at an average price of £25.76 per share.

The Group is announcing the appointment of Ann Godbehere as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 3 October 2011. She currently serves on the Boards of Rio Tinto plc, UBS AG and Prudential plc.

With continued pricing momentum, an increase in market share and the rate of volume decline moderating, we are on track for another very good year.

Richard Burrows
26 July 2011