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British American Tobacco 2014 Profit Drops As Revenue Hit By Sterling

Thu, 26th Feb 2015 07:49

LONDON (Alliance News) - British American Tobacco PLC Thursday reported a drop in 2014 profit in both current currency rates and at constant rates, while revenue grew at constant exchange rates, but was hit at the reported rate by the strength of sterling.

The tobacco giant reported a pretax profit of GBP4.85 billion for 2014, down 16% at currency exchange rates, from GBP5.80 billion in 2013, after the group said it was hit by a non-tobacco litigation charge and adverse exchange movements on a translational and transactional level.

Adjusted group profit from operations increased by 4.4% at constant rates of exchange and decreased by 7.2% at current rates of exchange.

Group revenue was up by 2.8% at constant exchange rates to GBP15.68 billion, but was down 8.4% on a reported basis, hit by adverse exchange rate movements.

"The group continued to perform extremely well despite challenging trading conditions. We grew revenue and profit at constant rates of exchange and we increased our market share. Although significant exchange rate movements in many of our key currencies impacted our reported results, the underlying performance of our business remains strong," said Chairman Richard Burrows in a statement.

British American Tobacco said group cigarette volume was 667 billion, a decline of 1.4% against an estimated industry decline of 2.5%. Total tobacco volume was 1.3% lower.

"Our Global Drive Brands had a very strong year growing volume by 5.8%, primarily driven by Dunhill, Rothmans and Pall Mall," the company said.

The group declared a 4% increase in its total dividend per share for the year of 148.1 pence. Basic earnings per share were down 18.6% at 167.1 pence, from 205.4 pence last year.

"The increase in our total dividend for 2014 to 148.1p reflects our commitment to growing shareholder returns as well as our confidence in the strength of our business, our strategy and our future," said Burrows.

By Rowena Harris-Doughty;; @rharrisdoughty

Copyright 2015 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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