Imperial Brands Wednesday said it expects its revenue growth to be in the highs or above its forecast range this year, while highlighting the continuing uncertainty in the United States over the regulation of electronic cigarettes .
The British cigarette maker, which owns, among other things, the Gitanes and Gauloises brands, thinks, however, that the sales volumes of its core business in tobacco will be "slightly" lower than their level in the second half of the year, including in the United States, after recent price increases.
For the moment, he has predicted growth in annual sales between 1% and 4%. Sales in tobacco are expected to grow modestly this year and the group has said it is poised to meet its target of increasing its annual profit from 4% to 8%.
Jefferies stresses, however, that the tobacco company posted organic growth of 6% in the second half of 2018 after a decline of 2,1% over the first six months of the year. " Given this difficult basis of comparison for 2's S2019, the company's comments on the structure of its sales evolution could raise concerns about the ability to meet annual targets", Comments the broker.
The action Imperial Brands yielded 0,97% after trading for about one hour on the London Stock Exchange, one of the largest declines in the FTSE 100 index, which was up slightly at the same time (+ 0,11%). US authorities are worried about the rise of "vaping" among teens with the focus of large tobacco groups on the development of e-cigarettes.
Imperial is one of a handful of groups committed last year to US health authorities (FDA) to take steps to limit sales to minors.
The boss of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, said his agency should think about a outright ban on the sale of nicotine-based electronic products. The FDA has unveiled plans this month to limit sales and to have manufacturers re-apply for authorization.
Imperial ruled Wednesday that the performance of his electronic cigarette myblu were generally good despite these regulatory uncertainties in the United States.