British American Tobacco has warned that its operating profit will slow in the second half of the year because of excise increases in key markets.

“There have recently been significant excise increases in a number of key markets, while the level of our investment in expanding distribution and rolling out our global drive brands is set to rise over the next few months,” said BAT chairman Jan du Plessis.

“We therefore expect our growth in profit from operations at comparable rates of exchange to slow in the second half of the year.”

Half-year operating profit rose 13% to £1.49bn on sales down 2% at £4.7bn.