British American Tobacco sees earnings rise

<p>Tobacco giant BAT has released its full-year earnings for 2012.</p>

British American Tobacco (BAT) has today (February 28th) released its full financial results for 2012, which showed the firm's earnings increased by seven per cent per share.

The company, which is the world's second-largest manufacturer of cigarettes, revealed its operating margins increased in all four operating regions, despite tough conditions, although overall volumes fell by 1.6 per cent due to contractions in its largest markets.

Commenting on the figures, chairman of BAT Richard Burrows cited good pricing and an "outstanding improvement" in operating margin as the main reasons for strong profit growth in 2012.

He added: "Despite the difficult trading conditions in many parts of the world, particularly southern Europe, these results demonstrate the company is in excellent shape."

As a result, he said the firm is confident its strategy will continue to deliver superior returns for shareholders.

The markets have reacted well to the announcement, with BAT's share price up by two points on the London Stock Exchange as of 09:29 GMT, at 3,418.

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