Imperial Tobacco’s Sales Rise with Market Expansion

Imperial Tobacco Group Plc. has revealed that its sales, this fiscal year, are meeting its expectations, as the French and U. K. markets are undergoing expansion.

"We have made a good start to the year with trading in line with our expectations despite the weak economic environment. Imperial has raised prices in the U. K., Spain and France since the end of its fiscal year in September", said Gareth Davis, Imperial's Chief Executive Officer.

In Germany, Imperial's market share dropped to 27.1% from 27.3%. In Spain, cigarette volumes dropped to 10%, while fine-cut tobacco market volumes grew by 30%.

In U. S., a sharp rise in federal taxes, in April 2009, resulted in a 9% drop in its cigarette market volumes, for the year. The Cigarette volumes remained strong in rest of the European Union region, with further gains in cigarette share in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Mr. Davis will get retired in May 2010 and will be replaced by Ms. Alison Cooper, who was promoted as the Chief Operating Officer, in March 2009. Ms. Cooper has pledged to enhance the group's focus on sales growth, under her stewardship.