Despite oil companies proving a drag on the market, leading shares are managing to make a little headway.
Imperial Tobacco is among the main risers, up 79p to £27.46. The cigarette maker saw a decline in full year revenues and profits, hit by exchange rates and declining sales as people cut back or quit smoking. But it has tackled this with cost cuts, saving £60m during the year, and the figures were in line with expectations. Tobacco revenues fell 6% to £6.5bn and adjusted operating profit was down 5% to £3bn.
It also said it was lifting its full year dividend by 10%. During the year it raised £395m with the partial IPO of its Logista business in Europe, with the proceeds going to reduce debt. A deal with Lorillard and Reynolds to boost its US presence should be completed next spring, and it also sees big opportunities in emerging markets.
via The Guardian