(Alliance News) - British American Tobacco PLC said on Tuesday it is on track to deliver annual performance that it in line with its guidance.

The London-based cigarette and vaping products maker expects low-single-digit growth in revenue and in adjusted profit from operations growth on an organic, constant currency basis in 2024.

BAT also said it expects its performance to be "second-half weighted", mainly driven by "wholesaler inventory movements" related to continued investment in the US, as well as the phasing of new product launches.

BAT Chief Executive Officer Tadeu Marroco said the group's annual guidance reflects ongoing macro-economic pressures, particularly in the US market and continued lack of effective enforcement against the growing illicit vapour trade.

The group predicts its first-half revenue and adjusted profit from operations to be down by low-single digits on an organic, constant currency basis.

It expects acceleration in the second half to driven by the phasing of innovation in new categories, and the benefits of first-half investment in US commercial actions and related wholesaler inventory movements.

The cigarette maker projects "strong" revenue and profit growth for Velo, noting it sees significant opportunity for Velo in emerging markets, with continued strong volume performances in Pakistan and South Africa.

"As we continue our journey towards building a 'smokeless world', guided by our refined strategy, we will progressively improve our performance to deliver 3% to 5% revenue, and mid-single digit adjusted profit from operations growth on an organic constant currency basis by 2026," CEO Marroco said.

BAT expects 2024 global tobacco industry volume to decline 3% in 2024.

Shares in BAT were down 1.6% to 2,395.36 pence each on Tuesday morning in London, while in Johannesburg, shares traded 0.9% lower at ZAR570.54 each.

By Artwell Dlamini, Alliance News reporter

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