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Imperial Brands FY Profit Declines; Names Thérèse Esperdy Chairman - Quick Facts

UK-based tobacco giant Imperial Brands plc (IMB.L,IMBBF.PK,IMBBY.PK) on Tuesday reported a decline in its fiscal 2019 profit from last year. The company also said that Thérèse Esperdy, currently Senior Independent Director, will succeed Mark Williamson as Chairman, effective 1 January 2020.

The company's profit for fiscal 2019 attributable to owners of the parent decreased to 1.01 billion pounds from 1.37 billion pounds in the prior year. Basic earnings per share declined to 106.0 pence from 143.6 pence last year.

However, adjusted earnings per share for the year edged up 0.4 percent to 273.3 pence from 272.2 pence in the prior year. Adjusted earnings per share declined 1.6 percent at constant currency.

Operating profit for the year declined 8.7 percent to 2.20 billion pounds from 2.41 billion pounds last year.

Revenue for the year rose 5.1 percent to 31.59 billion pounds from a restated 30.07 billion pounds a year ago.

"2019 has been a challenging year with results below our expectations due to tough trading in Next Generation Products (NGP). We are implementing actions to drive a stronger performance in the coming year," said Alison Cooper, Chief Executive of Imperial Brands.

The company's Board approved a further interim dividend of 72.00 pence per share and will propose a final dividend of 72.01 pence per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 206.57 pence per share.

The third interim dividend will be paid on 31 December 2019 with an ex-dividend date of 22 November 2019. Subject to AGM approval, the proposed final dividend will be paid on 31 March 2020, with an ex-dividend date of 21 February 2020.

Looking ahead, Imperial Brands said it has taken a more cautious approach to its outlook for 2020, with low single digit revenue and earnings per share growth expected, excluding any impact from the divestment program.

The company expects performance for the full year to be weighted to the second half as the benefit of the company's NGP reset takes effect through the year.

Imperial Brands announced that Thérèse Esperdy, currently Senior Independent Director, will succeed Mark Williamson as Chairman, effective 1 January 2020.

The company announced in February that Mark would be stepping down as Chairman in anticipation of the requirements of the new UK Corporate Governance Code regarding a Chairman's tenure on a Board.

Thérèse has significant international investment banking experience having held a number of senior roles at JP Morgan. She began her banking career at Lehman Brothers and retired from JP Morgan in 2015.

The company will announce the appointment of Thérèse's successor as Senior Independent Director at a later date.

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