A word from Richard Burrows
Performance in the first half of the year has been good, with continued pricing momentum, Global Drive Brand growth and stable overall volumes.
Despite currency weaknesses in key markets and tough comparator one-off events in 2011, the underlying business is performing well.
Adjusted profit from operations at constant rates of exchange grew by 6 per cent to £2,929 million. Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose 7 per cent to 102.4 pence.
We repurchased some 18 million shares in the first half of the year through our buy-back programme at a cost of £553 million and at an average price of £31.47 per share.
The Board has declared an Interim Dividend of 42.2 pence per share, an increase of 11 per cent. As usual, the Interim Dividend has been set at one third of last year’s total dividend and will be paid on 26 September to shareholders on the Register on 17 August 2012.
Despite the global economic uncertainty and the adverse impact of exchange rates, British American Tobacco has delivered another good set of results. The underlying business continues to perform well and we are confident of another year of good earnings growth.
24 July 2012