Imperial Tobacco posts higher profit, says chairman to retire

November 5, 2013

LONDON (Reuters) - Imperial Tobacco Group (LSE:IMT), the world's No. 4 tobacco company, posted higher full-year earnings on Tuesday despite a dip in revenue and said its chairman was stepping down.

The company reported adjusted earnings of 210.7 pence per share in fiscal 2013, up from 201.0 pence per share in 2012.

Group revenue fell to 28.27 billion pounds in 2013, from 28.57 billion in 2012.

The company said Chairman Iain Napier would retire from the board of directors following its annual general meeting on February 5. Napier will be succeeded by Deputy Chairman Mark Williamson.

Looking ahead, the company said a reasonable working assumption for 2014 was "modest" growth in earnings per share at constant currency exchange rates, with a dividend increase of at least 10 percent. It plans to increase dividends ahead of adjusted earnings by at least 10 percent per year over the medium term, it said.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely)