The Financial Times delves into the latest annual results from British American Tobacco, which saw its profit jump thanks to the acquisition of rival tobacco giant Reynolds. BAT said it expects to double sales from vaping and other non-conventional smoking products this year as the owner of the Dunhill, Kent, and Lucky Strike cigarettes brands lifted profits by 39% last year, the paper writes. Lower-than-expected sales growth took some of the puff out of cigarette giant British American Tobacco even as the company made greater inroads into alternative smoking products, The Telegraph adds. The company saw organic sales rise 2.9% to £15.1bn – a lower rate of expansion than investors had been expected.
Dutch public prosecutors have refused to open a formal criminal investigation into four major international tobacco companies on charges of attempted murder or manslaughter, saying there is too little chance of a conviction, The Guardian reports.
The Financial Times continues to explore the threat that Unilever may shift its headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands. The paper says in an opinion piece that the HQ move would be motivated by more than Brexit and have more to do with last year’s bid from Kraft Heinz. A separate article in The Financial Times examines the reasons why Unilever may leave London.
A Welsh fruit grower has broken the record for picking the earliest-ever British strawberries – grown in glasshouses – and getting them on to supermarket shelves, The Guardian reports.
German consumer and chemicals group Henkel is handing shareholders the biggest dividend in its 142-year history after a bumper run of sales growth but offered a cautious outlook for 2018 (The Financial Times).