LONDON (Reuters) – Demand for cigarettes has picked up in the COVID-19 pandemic, helped by a rise in home working that has given smokers more opportunities to light up, Imperial Brands said on Thursday.
The maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes nudged up its full-year revenue forecast.
A spokesman for the British firm said consumers appeared to be spending more on tobacco as they saved money in other areas, such as travel and holidays, while working from home meant many of them were not restricted by when they could smoke.
The news came as Ladbrokes and bwin owner GVC Holdings raised its annual earnings outlook, helped by a surge in online gaming, in another sign consumers are looking to escape the stresses of the pandemic.
Imperial said it expected full-year net revenue to be broadly flat, with a 1% increase in its tobacco business offsetting a 30% drop in its