Cigarette maker BAT says revenue rises on price hikes

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British American Tobacco, the world's second-biggest cigarette maker, reported Wednesday a seven-percent jump in revenues for the first nine months of 2011 as the prices of its products rose.

"While the challenging economic conditions continued to impact consumers in some markets, other markets are showing signs of recovery," BAT chief executive Nicandro Durante said in a company trading update.

Revenues rose in the first nine months compared with the equivalent period in 2010 despite a drop in the amount of cigarettes sold.

Total volumes slid 0.6 percent to 523 billion cigarettes, the London-based group said.

"Excise-driven price (tax) increases in a few markets will continue to affect industry volumes. However, we have ... achieved good growth in revenue and profit. We are on track for another year of good earnings growth," Durante added.

BAT is the second biggest cigarette maker in the world by revenue and its best-selling brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall.

© 2011 AFP

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