By: Michael Barker
Favourable exchange rates and good prices helped British American Tobacco to strong sales growth in 2009 despite overall volumes falling.
Group turnover for the year rose 17% to £14.2bn, while operating profits were up 15% to £4.1bn.
Volumes were up 10% on Pall Mall and 4% for the company’s Dunhill and Lucky Strike brands, although Kent saw volumes fall 4%. Overall volumes on an organic basis slipped 3%, which the company blamed on tough global economic conditions.
“There are signs that the global economy is beginning to improve, although unemployment – which is an important influence on our business – may continue to rise in developed markets,” said chairman Richard Burrows.