Imperial Tobacco declared that the declining of tobacco market in UK was showing an amelioration of their business because more smokers turn to its value smoking brands. The Bristol-based tobacco company, whose Lambert & Butler famous tobacco brand controlled the UK tobacco market, reported a better UK competence since July as JPS Silver and Windsor Blue helped boost its tobacco market share by almost 0.1% on December to 45.1%.
It is hoping its Lambert & Butler brand will get a further boost from the recent launch of slightly smaller ‘queen-sized’ cigarettes and a new type of filter that can be crushed to release menthol.
Across the group, underlying revenues rose 8% in the three months to the end of March, up from a 1% decline in the previous quarter, as it benefited from strong demand in emerging markets, particularly Asia Pacific.
Price hikes helped overall revenues for the half-year rise 3.3% to £3.4 billion, even though volumes were down 4% as consumers in recession-hit countries cut back.
Its rolling cigarettes business, which involves Golden Virginia, JPS and also Gold Leaf, which has profited as cigarettes commerce was down to cheaper roll-your-own cigs, saw its UK tobacco market share improved somewhat in the second quarter.
Imperial considers that volumes in the UK market decrease 2 percent in the period, hit by a series of duty hikes, the latest of which was 5 percent overhead inflation and was announced in the March budget. Imperial reported that up to 90 percent of the cost of some packages is now cigarettes tax.
UK incomes increased by 12.2 percent to £469 million although this was flattered by weaker comparisons with the previous year, which was affected by a cigarettes price increase. Shares rose 3 percent following the better second quarter discharge, with group profits up 3 percent to £1.5 billion.
The cigarettes group, which owns Gauloises Blandes and Davidoff smoking brands, declared that its first quarter had been hit by the influence of approval in Syria, further declines in Spain and stocking following a tobacco price hike in the United States. Recent cigarettes sales were also helped by strong sales of smoking products like cigars in arising markets such as China.