Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Imperial Brands Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Imperial Brands RSS feed en Thu, 20 Jun 2019 15:59:23 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:25:55 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 11 Jun 2019 16:52:20 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 04 Jun 2019 11:33:57 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 03 Jun 2019 13:12:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re US cigarette volume trends ]]> Wed, 29 May 2019 16:36:05 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Thu, 09 May 2019 10:10:33 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands sinks as tobacco volumes lag, US vape category slows ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) saw tobacco volumes fall more than the rest of the industry in the first half of its financial year, but hiked the interim dividend 10% as it remained confident about the full year.

Tobacco volumes fell 6.9% in the six months to 31 March, which the company said was due to short-term shipment timings, with industry volumes down 4.5%.

However, the FTSE 100 cigarette maker reiterated full-year guidance as net revenue rose 3.8% to £3.66bn, as price mix improved as the group’s core brands grew faster than the rest and there was a continued uptake of ‘next generation’ products.

NGP sales surged 245% to £148mln as the blu brand expanded in Europe, Japan and the US, although Imperial noted there had been a slowdown in the US "where regulatory statements have tempered growth of the category".

Adjusted operating profits were down 0.2% to £1.62bn, or 2.3% lower if currency swings are excluded, after an additional £94mln gross investment was pumped into NGPs and a £40mln profit was made on a disposal last year.

Group adjusted earnings per share of 115.6p were up 1.1%, or down 1.3% at constant currencies. Reported EPS of 71.2p was up 38% and beat consensus estimates by 2.4%.

Full-year guidance was unchanged, for EPS growth at the low end of the medium-term target of 4-8% on constant currency revenue growth at least at the upper end of its 1-4% range.

Directors proposed a 10% hike to the half-year dividend to 62.56p, with cash conversion of 66% in the period and expected to be just under 90% for the full year. Net debt ended the half at £12.96bn, up from £11.47bn six months before and £12.70bn a year ago.

It was, for chief executive Alison Cooper, a half of “pleasing underlying tobacco performance”, with high-margin sales growth and the core ‘Asset Brands’ now representing two thirds of total revenue.

“We have made significant progress in building our NGP business with investment behind myblu generating awareness and consumer adoption, resulting in leading retail shares in most markets. We are building on this momentum in the second half focused on further omnichannel expansion and new product initiatives."

Analysts at broker Liberum said the results demonstrated “the resilience of the tobacco business with pricing coming through and profits aided by continued cost control”, adding that the EPS beat “should reassure investors” and Imperial the consumer team’s top pick.

Shares in IMB fell 2.4% to 2,271p in early trading on Wednesday, nearing December's long-term lows. 

Wed, 08 May 2019 08:43:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Wed, 08 May 2019 07:05:01 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Half-year Report ]]> Wed, 08 May 2019 07:00:02 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Wed, 01 May 2019 09:36:09 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands looking to sell its premium cigar business as part of ongoing divestment programme ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) has confirmed its intention to sell its worldwide premium cigar business as part of an ongoing divestment programme to raise up to £2bn.

The FTSE 100-listed tobacco group, which is being advised by AZ Capital with respect to the sale of Premium Cigars, said whilst various options are being evaluated “there can be no certainty that any transaction will take place or as to the terms of any such transaction.”

READ: Imperial Brands upbeat on revenue outlook as myblu gains traction

It pointed out: “Premium Cigars has performed well over a number of years with good revenue and profit growth; however, it is a unique luxury business with a different consumer base and route to market relative to Imperial's other businesses.”

The company said the sale of the business “provides an attractive opportunity to realise shareholder value” and added that further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course.

Imperial Brands launched its divestment programme in May 2018 and expected to generate proceeds of up to £2bn by May 2020, if not earlier.

So far the group has realised £280mln from the sale of a portfolio of other tobacco products in the USA and the disposal of a further 9.99% stake in Spainis distribution group Logista.

It said significant progress has been made with a number of other divestment opportunities, with the priority of maximising shareholder returns, although recognising that tobacco valuations have come under some pressure in the last 12 months, the group added, assets will be sold only if they will realise appropriate value.

The divestment programme is part of an ongoing simplification agenda and will release capital to pay down debt and, where appropriate, invest in its growth agenda, Imperial Brands added.

In afternoon trading, shares in Imperial Brands edged 0.3% higher to 2,435p.

Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:56:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Intention to sell Worldwide Premium Cigar Business ]]> Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:30:01 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 02 Apr 2019 09:40:48 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 01 Apr 2019 09:12:54 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands and BAT find gains as Citi upgrades both UK tobacco groups to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ ]]> Citi lit a fire under UK tobacco stocks on Thursday, upgrading ratings for both Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) and British American Tobacco PLC (LON:BATS) to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ after recent falls, encouraged by a focus on next-generation products (NGPs).

In a sector note, the US bank’s analysts pointed out that many factors hit tobacco stocks last year, reaching a crescendo in December amid increased regulatory threat, worsening cigarette trends in the US, heightened worries about leverage caused by the increase in credit spreads for the groups, and the pressure from socially responsible investors.

READ: Imperial Brands upbeat on revenue outlook as myblu gains traction

The analysts noted that since then, credit spreads have unwound, and companies have reported US volumes that were less bad than the Nielsen/IRI data had implied.

However, despite a rebound, Imperial Brands and BAT’s are still pricing in discontinuities in cash flow, and the analysts think that their shares could rise a long way further because they believe the environment will continue to look less threatening.

The Citi analysts said: “We expect organic growth will pick up this year as NGPs sales accelerate and we think the regulatory threat will probably move away from cigarettes.”

They added: “In 2019 there are not likely to be any significant new policies on cigarettes, so we think investors will gradually get more comfortable with the current proposals.”

The analysts said they expect an even greater focus on e-vapor, which they think may be positive for BAT and Imperial Brands.

They concluded: “We think the shares could move a long way up because it’s now effectively impossible in our view to say what the ‘right’ valuation is for tobacco shares.”

Imps a “genuine turnaround story”

For Imperial Brands, which the analysts think is “a genuine turnaround story”, they raised their price target to 3,000p up from 2,700p previously.

They said: “We prefer Imperial to BAT because sales growth is likely to be almost as good in the next couple of years, NGP margins should inflect much sooner, and leverage is less of an issue.”

But they also increased their target price for BAT to 3,600p, up from 3,000p, noting that although the stock has risen by about 28% in the year-to-date, they think that is more to do with the decline in credit spreads than a reappraisal of fundamentals.

The analysts noted: “BAT has and is launching many NGPs, so we expect about 50% growth in NGP sales this year.

“In addition we expect the worries about menthol to subside. We think the new CEO’s approach will help too.”

In afternoon trading, shares in BAT were 1.4% higher at 3,133p, while Imperial Brands’ shares were up 1.6% at 2,602p.

Thu, 28 Mar 2019 12:33:00 +0000
<![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands upbeat on revenue outlook as myblu gains traction ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) has hinted that it could beat revenue forecasts this year as its myblu vape pens continue to gain traction.

The FTSE 100 tobacco giant had previously guided for net revenue growth of 1-4% in its current financial year to the end of September.

READ: Imperial Brands looks for new chairman

But in a trading update ahead of its interim results, it said it is on track to deliver net revenue growth “at, or above, the upper end” of its forecasts.

Earnings per share growth are expected within the 4-8% range it had previously set out.

Imperial said its traditional Tobacco division is on course to deliver “modest revenue growth” this year, with price rises offsetting falling sales.

As fewer people take up smoking cigarettes and cigars, the company has been investing heavily into its next-generation products.

One of those is myblu, which has built “strong retail share positions” in Europe and in Japan, while it has also achieved “good year-on-year revenue growth” in the US.

US uncertainty

That was despite the uncertainty created by the US Food and Drug Administration which has been cracking down on the use of tobacco products among teenagers.

FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, who is due to step aside next month, had suggested that flavoured e-cigarettes could be banned altogether.

Imperial has poured £100mln into myblu over the past few months which it warned will hold back first-half operating profits, although it expects a stronger second half.

First-half earnings per share will also take a knock from the reduction of the company’s Logista stake and last year's divestment of its Other Tobacco Products business.

There will be a slight tailwind from currency movements though, which should boost first-half earnings by 2%.

‘Solid performance’

“Imperial has seen robust trading in the core tobacco business and strong growth in its Next Generation portfolio of e-cigarettes,” said Hargreaves Lansdown fund manager Steve Clayton.

“All in all, this looks a solid performance and Imperial’s policy of raising the dividend by 10% per annum looks unlikely to change.

“With a current forecast yield of 8% the income attractions of the stock are clear.”

Shares were down 0.8% to 2,552p in early deals on Wednesday morning.

Wed, 27 Mar 2019 08:35:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading Statement ]]> Wed, 27 Mar 2019 07:00:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:13:37 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:35:20 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 16:09:55 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Conclusion of Audit Tender ]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 13:32:37 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 09:08:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 22 Feb 2019 16:21:44 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:59:43 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:30:54 +0000 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands says has initiated search for a new non-executive chairman following recent investor unrest ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) confirmed recent press speculation and said that it has initiated a process to search for a new non-executive chairman to succeed current incumbent Mark Williamson following recent investor unrest.

In a brief statement, the FTSE 100-listed tobacco firm said it was making the move “in anticipation of the requirements of the new UK Corporate Governance Code regarding a Chairman's tenure on a Board.”

READ: Imperial Brands up as full-year revenues rise, adjusted profit beats after Palmer & Harvey write-off

The group added that Williamson will remain as chairman until his successor has been found and to ensure an orderly handover of responsibilities.

It said the move was that in accordance with its planned and orderly approach to board succession, adding that a further announcement will be made upon the appointment of a successor.

Last week, at the Lambert & Butler cigarette brand owner’s annual general meeting, investors revealed their anger when almost a fifth of shareholders voted against Williamson’s reappointment as chairman.

Williamson, who also chairs FTSE 250-engineer Spectris PLC (LON:SXS) and is senior independent director at National Grid PLC (LON:NG.), has been on the board of Imperial Brands since 2007.

Ahead of the shareholder meeting in Bristol, proxy advisers had raised concerns over the long-serving chairman’s reappointment.

Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:14:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Imperial Brands PLC Chairman ]]> Mon, 11 Feb 2019 14:26:28 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Change of Remuneration Committee Chair ]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:56:20 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - AGM Resolutions posted on NSM ]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:53:58 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:43:10 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 04 Feb 2019 09:16:50 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:10:54 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Thu, 03 Jan 2019 11:24:46 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:45:55 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:22:54 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Documents Filed on National Storage Mechanism ]]> Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:13:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Tue, 04 Dec 2018 10:29:57 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration - Correction ]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 12:34:10 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:26:55 +0000 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands responds to new US FDA clampdown on vaping products ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) is developing child safety locking technology for its myblu e-cigarette after the US Food and Drug Administration announced new restrictions to prevent minors from using flavoured nicotine products.

In announcing its new measures, the FDA pointed to data that showed vaping had increased nearly 80% among high school students and 50% among middle school children since last year.

"These data shock my conscience," FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said.

The FDA has proposed that only tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarette flavours can be sold at most traditional retail outlets such as convenience stores. Fruit or sweet-flavoured varieties will be removed from shelves and websites that are easily accessible to minors.

READ: Imperial Brands up as full-year revenues rise, adjusted profit beats after Palmer & Harvey write-off

Imperial Brands said it shared the same concerns as the FDA about minors using vapour products and will consider appropriate actions in response to the new restrictions.

“Vapour products are for adult smokers and their sale to anyone underage should be prevented,” it said.

“However, we also recognise the challenge faced by the FDA in balancing concerns regarding youth appeal and access, given the positive public health potential of vapour products.

“We believe that through our blu product range we offer adult smokers a significantly better alternative than combustible cigarettes and consistently reinforce this message, while at the same time working actively against youth access to, and usage of, our products.”

The company is developing a connected version of myblu with device locking technology. The group said it was “greatly encouraged” by Gottlieb's remarks on finding a process to accelerate development and review of vapour products with child protection features.

Gottlieb said the FDA’s measures were intended to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts.

“We won’t let this pool of kids, a pool of future potential smokers, of future disease and death, to continue to build,” he said. “I will not allow a generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes”.

The regulator has also recommended bans on regular menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars.

Imperial Brands said it noted the FDA’s proposal regarding menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars but believes it needs to be backed up by relevant science and evidence.

“Such proposals are likely to require a multi-year process, in which we will be fully engaged,” it said. 

Fri, 16 Nov 2018 07:34:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re FDA announcement ]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 07:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 11:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 14:12:40 +0000 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands up as full-year revenues rise, adjusted profit beats after Palmer & Harvey write-off ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) shares rose on Tuesday after the tobacco group saw its full-year revenue rise by around 1%, helped by strong growth from next-generation products (NGP) for smokers, while adjusted profit beat forecasts after a write-off related to the bankruptcy of wholesale distributor Palmer & Harvey (P&H).

The FTSE 100-listed tobacco firm reported revenue of £30.5bn for the 12 months to September 30, up from £30.2bn a year earlier.

READ: Imperial Brands on track to deliver in-line full-year results, helped by sales of alternative smoking products

But the maker of Gauloises and Winston cigarettes saw its basic earnings per share (EPS) fall by 2.7% to 143.6p impacted by the P&H business write-off and currency factors, but adjusted EPS was up 5% to 272.2p.

The group saw its net revenue for both tobacco and NGP increase by around 1%, although reported volumes fell by 3.6% still outperforming industry volumes across its regions.

The company raised its full-year dividend by 10% to 187.8p, up from 170.7p a year earlier.

Alison Cooper, Imperial Brands’ chief executive, said the success of the international rollout of its myblu NGP product has put the group “in a strong position to further invest and accelerate sales growth in FY19.”

She added: “Following our additional brand investment in tobacco over the past two years, we have increased Growth Brand volume, share and revenue in our priority markets.”

The CEO concluded: “We have the strategy, assets and capabilities to realise the significant opportunities presented by a changing environment and to generate growing returns for our shareholders."

Reassuring results

In a note to clients, analysts at Liberum Capital commented: “Imperial Brands’ adjusted EPS came in at 272.2p, beating consensus estimates by 1.1%. All divisions beat adjusted EBITA expectations excluding Return Markets South.”

They added: “The group expects to deliver constant currency revenue growth at, or above, the upper end of the 1-4% range for FY19. The medium-term guidance for constant currency EPS growth of 4-8% remains in place.”

The analysts concluded: “Today’s beat should reassure investors. Imperial is our top pick in tobacco.”

Liberum reiterated a ‘buy’ rating and 3,100p price target on Imperial Brands shares which in early trading were 1.5% higher at 2,683.50p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 07:45:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 07:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 09:35:38 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> Fri, 12 Oct 2018 09:48:43 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 02 Oct 2018 09:32:12 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 01 Oct 2018 08:30:29 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Imperial Brands on track to deliver in-line full-year results, helped by sales of alternative smoking products ]]> Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) said it is on track to deliver full-year results in line with expectations, helped by increased sales of alternative smoking products.

In a pre-close season trading update ahead of a Capital Markets Event on Tuesday focused on its Next Generation Products (NGP), the FTSE 100-listed firm said its full-year constant currency revenue and earnings should be in line with the guidance range.

READ: Imperial Brands invests in medical cannabis research company

The firm highlighted strong growth in sales of its myblu NGP product and said revenues have been gaining momentum this year, resulting in an annualised exit run-rate of around £0.3bn.

It also announced today plans to launch, Pulze, a heated tobacco product early in the next calendar year.

The maker of Gauloise, Kool and Winston cigarettes added that its traditional tobacco business was also delivering a much stronger second half and that volumes would outperform the industry, although second half volumes were slightly weaker than the first.

Imperial Brands said its ongoing cost optimisation savings will be slightly above its original expectations of £100mln, while other gains included in adjusted operating profit will be within the expected range of £50mlm to £100mln.

The group also said its divestment programme, announced with its interim results, is on track and progressing well.

The firm said it will report its preliminary results for the year ended 30 September 2018 on 6 November.

In late afternoon trading, Imperial Brands’ shares were 0.7% higher at 2,656.5p.

In a note to clients, Liberum Capital reiterated its ‘buy’ rating and 3,100p price target on the stock.

Liberum's analysts said: “Imperial is our top pick in tobacco and currently trades on trough multiples as the group nears the end of its multi-year transformation into a focused brand builder.”

 -- Adds share price, analyst comment --

Tue, 25 Sep 2018 08:16:00 +0100