British American Tobacco reported a rise in first-half profit as higher margins offset a decline in cigarette and tobacco heating products volumes. For the six months ended June, pre-tax profit climbed to £4.59bn from £3.86bn as revenue rose 0.9% to £12.2bn. Gross margin increased by 550 basis points to 41.5% offsetting a 6.3%, fall in volumes, which the company blamed on virus-related travel restrictions. Cigarette volume was down 6.5% and THP volume was up 9.1%. Looking ahead, the company maintained guidance for revenue growth in a range of 1% and 3% for the year. US industry volumes were expected to decline by 2.5%, less than the previously expected 2.5%, driven by 'the continued resilience of consumer demand and higher trade stock levels being maintained as a result of COVID-19,' the company said. At 8:23am: (LON:BATS) British American Tobacco PLC share price was +52.5p at 2709p
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