BAT lights up gloom

Daily Express - - CITY& BUSINESS -

BRI­TISH Amer­i­can To­bacco, the world’s sec­ond-big­gest cig­a­rette maker yes­ter­day re­ported a 17 per cent rise in nine-month earn­ings.

BAT, maker of Dun­hill, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike, said its range of dif­fer­ently priced brands and its wide ge­o­graphic spread mit­i­gated the ef­fects of any con­sumer down­turn.

It saw strong growth in east­ern Europe, with vol­umes up 4 per cent com­pared with its mar­kets in Ja­pan and Canada.

Chair­man Jan du Plessis said: “Al­though there is a gen­eral con­cern about the prospects for the world econ­omy and con­sumer be­hav­iour in the next cou­ple of years, th­ese re­sults demon­strate there has been no dis­cernible ef­fect on Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco.”

BAT’s shares have shown to­bacco’s de­fen­sive qual­i­ties so far this year, out­per­form­ing the FTSE 100 in­dex by more than 40 per cent. The shares fell 129p to 1690p.

A Cit­i­group re­search note said: “We rate BAT as ‘low risk’.

“To­bacco is a fairly steady in­dus­try and BAT has by far the great­est geo­graph­i­cal di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of any to­bacco com­pany.”

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