Shares in British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) have advanced in London in today’s trading, as the group reported a rise in first-half sales. The company further said that it was confident that it will exceed £1 billion of reported revenue in its new generation products (NGP) this year.
As of 14:26 BST, BAT’s share price had added 5.45 percent to 4,189.50p, rising to the top of the FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.03 percent lower at 7,656.29 points. The group’s shares, however, have lost more than a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.6-percent gain in the Footsie.
BAT posts upbeat half-year results
BAT announced in a statement today that its revenue had soared 56.9 percent to £11.64 billion in the six months to June 30. The group’s profit from operations meanwhile jumped 72.4 percent to £4.44 billion. The company from ‘encouraging’ performance of recently acquired Reynolds American, as well as strong performance of its NGP products. The FTSE 100 group, however, saw a currency headwind of eight percent on its results for the first six months of the year and expects five-six-percent impact for the full year, based upon the current foreign exchange rates.
“Despite the recent slowdown in the THP [tobacco heated products] category in some markets […], we remain confident of exceeding £1 billion of reported revenue in NGP in 2018 as we expect a range of new launches to re-energise growth in THP in the second half of the year,” BAT chief executive Nicandro Durante said in the statement, adding that the group anticipated “another good year of adjusted earnings growth at constant rates of exchange”.
Analysts weigh in on performance
“A solid print with a number of positives: robust organic sales; margin gains; encouraging commentary for the second half and full year EPS delivery; and an EPS beat,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. Proactive Investors meanwhile quoted UBS as expecting “consensus estimates to remain unchanged to up slightly”.