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BAT share price underperforms even as group posts rise in revenue and profits

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Shares in British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) have fallen into the red in today’s session even as the blue-chip tobacco group delivered a rise in revenue and profits for last year. The company, whose chief executive is due to step down on April 1, unveiled another top brass change, announcing that its finance chief will also retire this year.

As of 12:46 GMT, BAT’s share price had given up 1.75 percent to 2,746.00p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.45 percent lower at 7,075.21 points. The tobacco maker’s shares have lost just under 36 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a two-percent dip in the Footsie.

BAT updates on performance

BAT announced in a statement today that its revenue had climbed 25.2 percent to £24.5 billion last year, while its profit from operations had climbed 45.2 percent to £9.31 billion. The company announced dividend per share of 203.0p, four percent higher year-on-year.

“Looking into 2019 we are confident of another year of high single figure adjusted constant currency earnings growth,” BAT’s chief executive Nicandro Durante said in the statement.

Reuters, however, quoted Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett as pointing to a lack of detail on its 2019 forecast and lower-than-expected full-year cigarette and new tobacco heating products volume.

Finance director to step down

The FTSE 100 group announced in a separate statement that its finance director Ben Stevens had informed the company of his plans to step down, after 30 years with the company and 11 years at the top finance job. He is set to retire from the board on August 5.

BAT said that he will be succeeded by Tadeu Marroco, currently Director, Group Transformation. Prior to his appointment on August 5, he will be appointed as Deputy Finance Director with effect from March 1, in addition to his current role.

As of 13:11 GMT, Thursday, 28 February, British American Tobacco plc share price is 2,746.00p.

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