Imperial Tobacco puffs up the divi


Imperial Tobacco, the world's fourth-largest tobacco group, cheered investors yesterday with an 11 per cent dividend hike to a mighty 105.6p a share.

That was on the back of an 8 per cent rise in earnings on sales up 4 per cent at £7bn.

Top brands Davidoff, Gauloises, West and JPS and hand-rolling tobacco all scored sales rises of 13 per cent over the past year.

The shares rose by 38p to 2370p.