BAT sells fewer cigarettes but revenue rises

AP News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2010 4:53 AM
BAT sells fewer cigarettes but revenue rises

British American Tobacco said Wednesday that it sold 1 percent fewer cigarettes in the first nine months of the year compared to a year ago, but revenue rose thanks to favorable currency movements and the acquisition in August 2009 of PT Bentoel in Indonesia.

Although total volume fell, BAT said Wednesday sales of its top brands _ Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall _ were up 8 percent.

The company says it is on track for good earnings growth for the full year but did not give any figures.

BAT shares were down 1.4 percent at 2,403.5 pence in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Richard Hunter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said BAT remained an attractive investment.

"The business is geographically diverse and the dividend policy is both progressive and attractive in the current interest rate environment, with the shares presently yielding in excess of 4 percent," Hunter said.