Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see Privacy & Cookies

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.


Back to all News

Interim Results for the six months ended 31 March 2020


Overview - Adjusted Basis Half Year Result Change
  2020 2019 Actual Constant Currency1
Tobacco volume bn SE 114.6 115.2 -0.5% -0.5%
Tobacco net revenue £m 3,509 3,508 0.0% +0.9%
NGP net revenue £m 83 148 -43.9% -43.2%
Tobacco & NGP net revenue £m 3,592 3,656 -1.7% -0.9%
Asset Brand net revenue2 £m 2,290 2,355 -2.8% -1.7%
Tobacco & NGP adjusted operating profit £m 1,383 1,538 -10.1% -8.5%
Distribution adjusted operating profit £m 95 102 -6.9% -4.9%
Total adjusted operating profit £m 1,469 1,620 -9.3% -7.7%
Adjusted earnings per share pence 103.0 115.6 -10.9% -9.2%
Adjusted net debt £m (13,476) (12,958)    
Overview - Reported Basis Half Year Result Change
  2020 2019 Actual                      
Revenue £m 14,672 14,390 +2.0%      
Operating profit £m 925 1,150 -19.6%  
Basic earnings per share pence 55.6 71.2 -21.9%  
Dividend per share pence 41.70 62.56 -33.3%  
Reported net debt £m (14,144) (13,381)    

See page 3 for basis of preparation and page 13 for the reconciliation between reported and adjusted measures.

1 Constant currency removes effect of exchange rate movements on the translation of the results of our overseas operations.

2 2019 Asset Brand net revenue restated for reclassification of brands. See Basis of Presentation on page 3.


“While we delivered against our revised expectations, we are disappointed with these results, and we remain fully focused on all opportunities to strengthen performance.

“We would like to thank our employees for their hard work and commitment in these challenging times. Their support has been outstanding and we continue to prioritise their health, safety and well-being.

“Our enhanced focus on tobacco has driven stronger in-market execution and an improved share performance, with gains in most of our priority markets. We have reduced our NGP spend following the poor returns on investment last year and this, together with recent weaknesses in the vapour category, has resulted in lower NGP revenue.

“Overall, COVID-19 has so far had only a small impact on trading but we expect this to be more pronounced in the second half due to continued pressures on our duty free and travel retail business, changes in consumption patterns including downtrading and a reversal of some first half inventory build.

“Agreeing the sale of our premium cigar business for €1.2 billion in the current climate was a major achievement and will further simplify the business and reduce debt. Deleveraging remains a key priority, such that the Board has decided to rebase the dividend by one-third to accelerate debt repayment, while retaining a progressive dividend policy, growing annually from the rebased level. This will strengthen the balance sheet and support a more flexible approach to capital allocation in the future.”

Dominic Brisby and Joerg Biebernick
Joint Interim Chief Executives



  • Protecting our people in uncertain times: we have taken all necessary steps to ensure our hard-working employees remain safe and well
  • Delivered share growth in tobacco: market share gains for the overall Group and in 7/10 priority markets
  • Right-sized our NGP investment: disciplined approach to improve returns and build sustainability
  • Submitted PMTAs to FDA for myblu products: myblu plays an important role in our NGP portfolio and we look forward to working with the FDA to help develop an evidence-based regulatory policy
  • Challenged the cost base and strengthened the balance sheet: drove a further cost saving initiative and secured additional credit facilities
  • Agreed sale of Premium Cigars for €1.2 billion: reinforces our focus on simplifying the business and realising value for shareholders, with proceeds to be used to reduce debt