BAT raises gross sales progress outlook as extra people who smoke swap to much less dangerous merchandise By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lucky Strike cigarettes can be seen during the manufacturing process in the British American Tobacco Cigarette Factory (BAT) in Bayreuth, Germany, 30 April 2014. REUTERS / Michaela Rehle / File Photo

(Reuters) – British American Tobacco on Tuesday raised its annual sales growth forecast to over 5% in constant currency as the cigarette maker’s focus on newer products like e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters pay off.

Previously, the company had forecast sales growth of 3 to 5%. However, it stuck to its growth expectation for adjusted earnings per share in the mid-single-digit range.

The Lucky Strike and Newport cigarette maker said the raised forecast was due to “new category” products gaining market share in all major markets, including the United States, where menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars may be banned.

The company also said it expects its cigarette volume for the full year to be higher than that of the industry as a whole, which will decline about 3% this year.

1.4 million more consumers started using its new product categories – e-cigarettes, tobacco heaters, and oral nicotine products – in the first quarter, bringing the total number of non-combustible users to 14.9 million.

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