By Christian Moess Laursen

Imperial Brands backed its guidance despite pretax profit falling in the first half of fiscal 2024, partly on declining volumes and adverse foreign exchange effects.

The FTSE 100 tobacco group said Wednesday that its pretax profit fell to 1.14 billion pounds ($1.44 billion) in the first fiscal half year to March 31 from GBP1.44 billion a year prior.

Revenue fell to GBP15.06 billion from GBP15.41 billion, mainly on adverse foreign exchange movements and tobacco volumes dropping 6.3%, while operating profit came in at GBP1.49 billion, down from GBP1.53 billion.

Strong tobacco pricing, that rose 8.6%, more than offset volume declines, the company--which houses Davidoff, Gauloises and JPS among its brands--said. Next-generation product revenue rose 17%.

Adjusted operating profit--a company-preferred metric that strips exceptional and one-off items--rose 2.8% to GBP1.67 billion, driven by tobacco and next-generation products, as previously disclosed.

The board declared a dividend of 44.90 pence a share, up from 43.18 pence a year earlier.

The company reiterated that it is confident of meeting full-year expectations of growing net revenue and delivering a step-up in adjusted operating profit growth.

Write to Christian Moess Laursen at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 0240ET