US conglomerate Altria, the parent of food group Kraft and the maker of Marlboro cigarettes Philip Morris, said its first quarter sales rose due to its tobacco business.

For the three months to March 31 net income was flat at $2.2bn on sales that increased 12.7% to $21.8bn from $19.4bn.

Kraft posted a 37% slump in first quarter earnings due to restructuring costs and higher marketing expenses.

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