Imperial Tobacco, the maker of Lambert & Butler and Richmond cigarettes said interim profit had been boosted by its acquisition last year of German cigarette group Reemtsma.

For the six months ended March 31, Imperial posted profit before amortisation and exceptional items of £454m up from £377m last year. Turnover edged up 2% to £5.5bn.

In the first half, the UK margins were up 4% to 53.3% due to a rise in sales of Lambert & Butler king size and Richmond cigarettes.