British American Tobacco Plc Reports Increased Profit And Revenues

… but tobacco volumes continue to decline at British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS).

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The share price of British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) (NYSE: BTI.US) is slightly higher following the release of its half-year report to 30 June 2013 this morning.

Adjusted operating profit was up 6% (on a constant exchange rate basis), at £2,944m, on group revenue that had risen 4% to £7,572m. However, there was a decline in total tobacco volume, which was 3.2% lower, with group cigarette volume down 3.4%, at 332 billion.

Despite the decline in volume, the group’s share of cigarette business continued to increase in its top 40 markets, led by 2.3% growth in its ‘Global Drive’ brands.

Adjusted diluted earnings-per-share was up 8%, at 109.1p, driven primarily by the growth in operating profit, and BAT’s board has raised the interim dividend by 7% to 45p per share.

Commenting on the half-year report, Nicandro Durante, BAT’s Chief Executive, said:

We performed well during the first half of the year with strong pricing momentum, increased market share and continued growth in our Global Drive Brands, strengthening the foundations for another year of good results in line with our long term strategic goals.

“I remain confident that we have the right plans in place and the resources at hand to continue to strengthen our competitive position and to deliver another year of good growth.

At the time of writing, BAT’s share price is 3,479p. While that’s up over 11% so far in 2013, it’s only 2.3% higher than this time last year. BAT’s dividend yield is currently around 4.2%, and is forecast to rise to close to 4.6% in 2014.

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> Jon doesn’t own shares in British American Tobacco.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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