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Imperial Tobacco Forecasts Increased Revenue on Eastern Europe

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, the maker of West and Davidoff cigarettes, forecast higher full-year sales, helped by growth in Eastern Europe.

Net revenue from tobacco will probably increase about 4 percent excluding currency shifts in the 12 months through September, the Bristol, England-based company said today in a statement. That beat the median of nine estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Results will be in line with the company’s expectations, the maker of Gauloises Blondes said.

Imperial’s shares have fallen almost 5 percent this month on reports that Russia and France plan to impose greater restrictions and taxes on smokers. The government in the U.K., where Imperial is the market leader, has said it is considering banning logos from cigarette packaging, following legislation passed by Australia that takes effect Dec. 1.

The total volume of tobacco sold by the producer will probably decrease as much as 3 percent in the 12-month period, Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company said, hurt by lower sales of cigarettes in Ukraine and fine cut tobacco in Poland as well as trade sanctions against Syria. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect a 2 percent decline. Imperial Tobacco is scheduled to report full-year results on Oct. 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Boyle in London at mboyle20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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