Imperial Tobacco’s total tobacco volume during the nine months to the end of June, at 207.4 billion stick equivalents, was down by three percent on that of the nine months to the end of June 2014, 213.3 billion, according to an interim management statement issued today.
Underlying volume was down by six percent.
Growth Brands volume was up by 15 percent, from 91.7 billion to 105.4 billion; or by 10 percent on an underlying basis.
Meanwhile, tobacco net revenue was down by four percent from £4,632 million to £4,435 million; or flat on an underlying basis.
Specialist Brands net revenue was said to have been up by three per cent, supported by growth in modern variants of Golden Virginia (hand-rolling tobacco) in the UK, Skruf (snus) in Scandinavia and premium cigars in both the US and Europe. Specialist Brands accounted for 12 per cent of reported tobacco net revenue, up 30 basis points.
In announcing the results, chief executive Alison Cooper said Imperial had enjoyed a good third quarter that had built on the progress made in the first half.
“Our continued focus on improving the consistency and quality of our performance has delivered excellent results from our Growth Brands which continue to grow net revenue, volume and market share,” she said.
“We’ve strengthened our performance in Returns Markets and maintained positive momentum in Growth Markets.
“We completed the US acquisition towards the end of the quarter and I am pleased with the successful start we’ve made in implementing our commercial and integration plans for ITG Brands.”
Meanwhile, Imperial reported that its stand-alone subsidiary Fontem Ventures was continuing to develop well, with blu electronic cigarettes growing encouragingly in the UK and an enhanced strategic approach starting to be rolled out in the US.
The development and licensing of a range of patented technologies was ongoing at Fontem.