British American Tobacco’s London HQ

British American Tobacco has reported a small fall in cigarette volumes in the first nine months of the year as its headline revenues were hit by currency movements.

The UK-listed cigarette firm’s revenues declined by 9.6% at current rates of exchange during the nine months to 30 September, but grew by 2.4% on a constant currency basis.

Global cigarette volumes dipped by 1% to 495 billion, though volumes for its key ‘global drive’ brands, including Kent, Rothmans and Lucky Strike, grew by 6.2%.

Chief executive Nicandro Durante commented: “The group grew revenue at constant rates of exchange as a result of a slightly better price mix, despite increased competitive pricing activity in some of our key markets.

“Our volume performance reflects our broad geographic spread, increased market share and excellent growth of our Global Drive Brands. Although currency movements impacted our reported results, the group continues to perform well and we are on track to deliver another year of good earnings growth at constant rates of exchange.”

BAT said that the trading environment “remains challenging” due to continued pressure on global consumer disposable incomes and the spluttering economic recovery in Western Europe.

Industry volumes have declined at a lower rate than last year, BAT said, but the market is being impacted by large excise-driven price increases.

Cigarette volumes fell in Russia, Vietnam, Brazil, Poland and Canada, which offset volume rises Middle East, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Pakistan, Ukraine, Turkey and Indonesia.