July 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s Imperial Tobacco (IMT.L), the world’s fourth-biggest cigarette maker, said cigarette volumes fell 4.3 percent in the nine months to June, a worsening from a 3.7 percent decline in its first half.
Imperial, with cigarette brands including Lambert & Butler, West and Gauloises, said on Thursday declines in Russia, Spain, Ukraine and the United States were being partly offset by gains in central Europe.
Chief executive Alison Cooper who took over from Gareth Davis in May said: “Overall we are performing well in what remains a challenging operating environment.
“Our Global Strategic cigarette brands continue to grow and we saw some strong performances from a number of our regional and local brands,” she said.
The company said its overall financial performance and position remained in line with the board’s expectations.
In April, the group, which also makes Gitanes, Davidoff and Fortuna cigarettes, said it looked towards a better second half as the recovery kicked in, saying second-half volumes should stabilise. [ID:nLDE63M1DL]
Imperial is the world’s No 4 cigarette group after Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International (PM.N), British American Tobacco (BATS.L) and Japan Tobacco (2914.T). (Reporting by Dan Lalor; Editing by Hans Peters)