Imperial Tobacco’s cigarette volume during the year to the end of September, at 292.5 billion, was down by 3.2 per cent on the volume recorded during the year to September 30, 2011: 302.1 billion.
During the same period, fine-cut volume, calculated in cigarette stick equivalents, was increased by 0.4 per cent, from 43.9 billion to 44.1 billion.
And total cigarette and fine-cut stick equivalent volume was down by 2.7 per cent, from 346.0 billion to 336.6 billion.
Looking regionally, cigarette volume was down in the UK, by 2.6 per cent to 18.7 billion; down in Germany by 3.4 per cent to 22.6 billion; down in Spain by 10.1 per cent to 18.7 billion; down in the ‘Rest of Europe’ by 7.6 per cent to 53.4 billion; down in the Americas by 16.3 per cent to 10.3 billion; and up in the ‘Rest of the world’ by 0.1 per cent to 168.8 billion.
Fine-cut volume in stick equivalents was up in the UK, by 3.1 per cent to 6.6 billion; up in Germany by 6.8 per cent to 9.4 billion; up in Spain by 10.0 per cent to 3.3 billion; up in the rest of the world by 11.1 per cent to 3.0 billion; unchanged in the Americas at 0.5 billion; and down in the rest of Europe by 5.3 per cent to 21.3 billion.
Total volume was down in the UK by 1.2 per cent to 25.3 billion; down in Germany by 0.6 per cent to 32.0 billion; down in Spain by 7.6 per cent to 22.0 billion; down in the rest of Europe by 7.0 per cent to 74.7 billion; down in the Americas by 15.6 per cent to 10.8 billion; and up in the rest of the world by 0.3 per cent to 171.8 billion.
In the year to the end of September, Imperial’s cigarette market shares improved on those of the year to the end of September 2011 in Algeria, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam; and its fine-cut shares improved in Australia, Belgium, Germany and Spain.
In her overview of the business, chief executive, Alison Cooper, said Imperial, over the past two years, had made great progress in shifting its strategic focus so as to put consumers at the heart of its business and drive organic sales growth.
‘It’s been a rapid transition and we’re pleased with the progress we’re making, generating quality growth from quality brands to drive sustainable returns,’ she said.
‘Our success is built around a differentiated approach that’s focused on applying our understanding of consumer motivations to realise the potential of our portfolio and offer consumers the best tobacco experiences.
‘The response from our people to these changes has been remarkable; a united focus on sales, on building total tobacco brands and on consistently applying our four sales growth drivers of portfolio management, innovation, pricing and customer engagement to deliver high quality sustainable growth.’
Cooper went on to say that Imperial’s key strategic brands, Davidoff, Gauloises Blondes, West and JPS had delivered volume growth of seven per cent and net revenue growth of 13 per cent.
‘Our fine cut tobacco volumes were stable, with net revenues up by 13 per cent,’ she said. ‘We delivered further strong results from premium cigars growing volumes by 11 per cent and revenues by 10 per cent and grew Scandinavian snus volumes by 53 per cent and net revenues by 46 per cent.’
Meanwhile, chairman, Iain Napier, said Imperial had made further good progress this year, growing sales while effectively managing its costs and cash flows.
‘We grew total adjusted operating profits by four per cent and delivered eight per cent adjusted earnings per share growth to 201.0 pence,’ he said. ‘Reported earnings per share were 68.1 pence (2011: 177.3 pence), reflecting the write down of our Spanish goodwill, as a result of the deterioration in the Spanish economy.
Net revenue was up by 4.1 per cent to £7,005 million, and adjusted operating profit was up by 3.7 per cent to £2,989 million.
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