Imperial Tobacco just blamed ISIS for falling cigarette sales

It’s not just oil companies getting hurt by the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) – Imperial Tobacco’s sales are also being hit too.

The UK cigarette giant just blamed “the deteriorating political and security situation” in Iraq, one of the countries ISIS operates in, for falling tobacco sales. Volumes fell by 5% in the six months to March, with 2% of that fall down to Iraq.

The FTSE 100 giant, which makes Golden Virginia and Rizla, said half-year revenue fell by 4% to £12.12 billion ($US18.47 billion), while profit slipped 2% to £959 million ($US1.46 billion).

Despite the slide Imperial Tobacco has opened up 2%. Earnings per share beat forecasts with a 4% rise and the company’s ‘growth’ brands are performing well.

Imperial Tobacco also said:

  • It expects US regulators to approve Reynolds and Lorillard’s blockbuster $US56 billion merger, a deal that will see Imperial snap up around $US7 billion worth of assets
  • Counterfeit cigarette sales in Vietnam are on the rise and hurting sales, after a tax increase in the country
  • Its cost cutting plan is on track, with £85 million ($US129.45 million) of savings expected this year

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