Group revenue increased by 8 per cent to £7,298 million as a result of the continued good pricing momentum, volume from the acquisition of PT Bentoel Internasional Investama Tbk (Bentoel) made in June 2009 and the favourable impact of exchange rate movements. Revenue increased by 4 per cent at constant rates of exchange.
The reported Group profit from operations was 8 per cent higher at £2,271 million. Adjusted profit from operations was 14 per cent higher and would have been 9 per cent higher at constant rates of exchange.
Group volumes were 348 billion, in line with last year. Market share of the Group’s top 40 markets increased but on an organic basis, volumes were down 3 per cent, mainly driven by market declines in Romania, Turkey, Japan and Pakistan.
The four Global Drive Brands achieved good overall volume growth of 6 per cent. Dunhill was up 21 per cent, Lucky Strike 1 per cent and Pall Mall grew by 7 per cent, while Kent volumes fell 4 per cent due to industry declines in its main markets.
Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose by 13 per cent, principally as a result of the strong growth in profit from operations and favourable exchange movements. Basic earnings per share were up 5 per cent at 76.9p (2009: 73.2p).
The Board has declared an interim dividend of 33.2p, a 19 per cent increase on last year, to be paid on 29 September 2010.
The Chairman, Richard Burrows, commented “These results show that British American Tobacco’s business is in very good shape, with continued pricing momentum, increasing market share in key markets and improving organic volume trends. While the comparisons with 2009 will become tougher in the second half, shareholders should see another year of good growth in both earnings and dividends.”