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News > International
Imperial first half up 15%
May 8, 2000: 3:49 a.m. ET

UK tobacco firm lit up by overseas performance as domestic sales decline
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LONDON (CNNfn) - London-based Imperial Tobacco posted a 15 percent rise in first-half profit Monday as strong international growth helped to offset a decline in U.K. earnings.

Pretax earnings for the six months ending Mar. 25 rose to £210 million ($327 million) - at the top end of the range of forecasts in a poll by Reuters -- from £183 million a year earlier. With leading brands including Embassy, Regal and Lambert & Butler, the company is Britain's second-largest cigarette maker.

graphicAcquisitions last year in Australia and New Zealand helped lift the share of non-U.K. earnings to 45 percent from 39 percent a year earlier.

Overseas pretax earnings grew 24 percent, but U.K. profit fell 8 percent as higher tobacco taxes cut sales, though Imperial's share of the U.K. market rose to 38 percent from 37.9 percent. Revenue climbed 21 percent to £2.69 billion.

"Continued focus on strong international growth, linked with judicious acquisitions and robust defense of the UK market, has proved an effective strategy, leaving the group increasingly well placed for profitable growth in its chosen markets," Chairman Derek Bonham said in a statement.

Imperial (IMT) shares opened unchanged Monday at 545 pence. The company's shares were removed from the blue-chip FTSE 100 index in March. Back to top

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.