Imperial Brands Profit Lifted by Investment Gains

By Saabira Chaudhuri Features Dow Jones Newswires

Imperial Brands PLC (IMB.LN) reported a jump in first-half profit as the cigarette maker was helped by higher investment income.

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Imperial, which makes the JPS and Gauloises brands, said net profit rose to 675 million pounds ($871 million) in the six months ended March 31 from GBP290 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose to GBP14.3 billion from GBP12.81 billion.

The results were helped by a rise in investment income to GBP730 million from GBP290 million a year earlier. Operating profit fell to GBP902 million from GBP1 billion.

Total tobacco volume fell 5.7 in the period to 126.3 billion sticks, a deterioration from the 3.1% decline in the year-earlier period. Tobacco net revenue climbed 9.3% but dropped 5.5% in constant currencies.

U.K.-based Imperial's results come as the country later this month implements plain packaging, under which cigarettes will be sold in uniform packs stripped of distinctive logos and colors, and adorned with graphic health warnings. Australia and France also have plain packaging laws in place and other countries like Ireland and Hungary are on a path to similar legislation.

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-Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2017 02:50 ET (06:50 GMT)