Royals maker British American Tobacco has announced a slight fall in volumes for the three months to the end of March in its latest trading update.

Although total volumes declined from 170 billion sticks in 2009 to 168 billion for the same period last year, volumes of its four ‘global drive’ brands, which include Dunhill and Lucky Strike, were up 6%.

The group claimed sales by value were up on a constant currency basis.

“Our consumers are clearly finding economic conditions difficult and volumes suffered as a result of market size declines,” said chief executive Paul Adams.

“However, there was continued pricing momentum and good growth in market shares, leading to solid revenue growth. We remain on track for the year.”

Earlier this week BAT joined rivals Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International in a last-ditch legal bid to overturn the proposed display ban, which is due to take effect in supermarkets next year.

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