Profits edge up at BAT despite drag caused by currency fluctuations

A pack of Cigarettes

British American Tobacco is expected this week to report a sales increase of more than three per cent for the first half of 2012.

The news will come as BAT seeks to defend itself against increasing regulation over tobacco sales.

The Government is consulting on plans to force tobacco companies to sell their products in plain packaging to counteract the impact of brand advertising.

From December this year, all cigarettes sold in Australia will have to be in brown paper packs, with large health warnings about the dangers of smoking. BAT and other firms are challenging this ruling.


Currency fluctuations are predicted to have a negative effect on BAT’s first-half results, say analysts at stockbroker Oriel Securities, pointing out that the Brazilian real and the euro were on average 14 per cent and six per cent lower respectively than in the same period a year earlier.

BAT’s pre-tax profits are forecast to increase to £3 billion from £2.8 billion in the first six months of 2011.