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Imperial Brands beats annual adjusted profit estimates

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Imperial Brands beats annual adjusted profit estimates

Imperial Brands beats annual adjusted profit estimates
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Leonhard Foeger(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) - British tobacco firm Imperial Brands <IMB.L> reported higher full-year revenue and better-than-expected adjusted profit, helped by market share gains.

The maker of Gauloises and Winston cigarettes reported revenue of 30.5 billion pounds for the full year ended on Sept. 30, up from 30.2 billion.

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Reported earnings per share fell 2.7 percent to 143.6 pence, hurt by a write-off related to the bankruptcy of distributor Palmer & Harvey and foreign exchange rates.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings were 272.2 pence per share, topping analysts' average estimate of 269.3 pence, a company-supplied consensus showed.

For the year ahead, Imperial said it expects to deliver constant currency revenue growth at, or above, the upper end of a 1 to 4 percent growth range.

It plans to increase investment in its e-cigarette brand blu by around 100 million pounds in the first half, which will result in a slightly lower adjusted operating profit in the half that will be more than offset in the second half.

It expects its "next generation" device business to begin contributing to group profit as it exits fiscal year 2019, with margins continuing to build thereafter.

It stood by its medium-term guidance for constant currency earnings per share growth of 4 to 8 percent.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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