Imperial Tobacco draws on emerging market growth

20 Sep 2012 | News - Comment now

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Imperial Tobacco draws on emerging market growth

Gauloises maker Imperial Tobacco (LON:IMT) has seen its revenues boosted by strong sales in emerging markets, despite weaknesses in patches.

In an update to the stock market ahead of releasing its full annual results on 30 October, Imperial reported that net revenues from tobacco would be up by around 4 per cent.

The group emphasised ‘particularly good performances in our Eastern Europe, Africa & Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions’.

But it added that sales volumes would actually decline by up to 3 per cent due to ‘ongoing market weakness’ in Ukraine and Poland, as well as ‘compliance with international trade sanctions against Syria’.

Shares in Imperial Tobacco climbed by 1.54 per cent on the news, to £23.72, making it the highest riser on the London Stock Exchange.

The firm has been a popular choice for income investors due its consistently high dividend yields, which have averaged above 4 per cent over the past five years.

In an interim management statement in July, Alison Cooper, Imperial’s chief executive, confirmed that dividends would ‘grow ahead of the growth in adjusted earnings per share’, which is currently 6 per cent.

Imperial’s valuation has remained relatively low, though, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11.6.

Related topics: Dividends, Emerging markets, Equity income, UK equities Imperial Tobacco

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