British American Tobacco has said that first half profits rose by eighteen percent as the world's second largest tobacco company raised prices in the US, and Canadian consumers stocked up to avoid a tax increase.
Net income rose to 522 million pounds ($816 million), or 30.99 pence a share, from 442 million pounds, or 28.43p, in the same period a year earlier.
BAT is focusing on its Lucky Strike, Kent, Dunhill and Pall Mall brands while expanding in Asia and elsewhere to counter a decline in smoking in the US and Europe. The Chief Executive Officer Paul Adams predicted “high single figure earnings growth” for 2002.
“The good performances in the America-Pacific and Europe and the six percent overall growth in our global drive brands demonstrate real strength,” Chairman Martin Broughton said in a statement on the UK's Regulatory News Service.