Belfast Telegraph

Imperial Brands forecasts £1.5bn in vaping sales by 2020

Imperial owns the blu e-cigarette brand and is launching heated tobacco product Pulze early next year.

Davidoff and Lambert & Butler maker Imperial Brands has said its annual sales of vaping and smoking alternatives are on track to hit up to around £1.5 billion by 2020.

The British tobacco giant said so-called next generation products will also begin to add to its group profit by the end of its 2018-19 financial year.

Imperial, which owns the blu e-cigarette brand, also announced plans to launch a new heated tobacco product called Pulze early next year.

At the heart of our strategy is a desire to create something better for the world's smokers Imperial Brands

The tobacco industry is focusing on smoking alternatives as an additional source of revenue as traditional cigarette consumption continues to fall.

Imperial said: “At the heart of our strategy is a desire to create something better for the world’s smokers.

“We want smokers to switch to alternative products with lower health risks.

“We are enabling this transition by providing an outstanding vaping experience, endorsed by a trusted brand and underpinned by leading edge science.”

The group said sales of its new one-click liquid pod system, called myblu, had seen a “really positive response”, with sales running at an annual rate of around £300 million as its year to September 30 draws to a close.

In its update ahead of the financial year end, Imperial said profits were on track with forecasts, although its bottom line is set for an expected hit of around 3% from currency exchange rates.

It added it also expects to beat its cost saving goal of £100 million.

The group said second-half trading had been “much stronger”, although sales by volume have been slightly weaker.

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