Imperial Brands expects lower losses in e-cigarettes, keeps 2021 profit view

Imperial Brands Plc stuck to its full-year adjusted profit growth forecast on Tuesday, as the tobacco firm expects “significantly reduced” losses in its vaping business and benefits from higher tobacco prices.

In January, the company laid out a five-year plan focussing on its top five tobacco markets and taking a more “disciplined” approach to its next generation products (NGP), which include e-cigarettes, tobacco heating and oral nicotine products.

The maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes has witnessed a “good start” to trading this year, it said on Tuesday, with overall tobacco volumes in line with its expectations. The pandemic, however, continued to affect buying patterns across different channels and markets, it added.

The London-listed company expects first-half group net revenue to grow by at least 1% on an organic, constant currency basis, boosted by higher tobacco prices and NGP revenue growth from a year earlier. It also sees higher profits from its logistics operations in Europe.

Imperial kept its forecast of low-to-mid single digit growth in organic adjusted operating profit growth for the year, same as it first set in November.

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