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BAT Content with Hedging as Forex Effects Hit Profit

By Simon Zekaria LONDON--British American Tobacco PLC (BATS.LN) Wednesday said it remains content with its currency hedging strategy, even as weakness of major denominations in key emerging markets against a strong pound hit the tobacco giant's profit. The world's No. 2 tobacco company by sales earlier Wednesday posted a below-forecast rise in first-half net profit, on little-changed revenue, as headwinds from the Brazilian real, the euro, the South African rand and the Russian ruble eroded earnings. "Brazil, South Africa and Russia just happen to be three of our top five markets. Collectively, that is some fairly big currencies in our basket," Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs, said in an interview. "We are doing everything we can [to mitigate risk]. We are hedged to a position we are comfortable with," Mr. Wheaton said. Mr. Wheaton added that currency exposure risk is par for the course in the a global business. "We had a very strong run on currency in the last few years. This time, it has turned the other way round." London-based BAT, which has just a very small share of the U.K. tobacco market, drives its income from developing economies, where rising incomes are bolstering sales. In the last fiscal year, it sold 705 billion cigarettes worldwide. At 0830 GMT, BAT shares were down 41 pence, or 1.2%, at 3267 pence. Write to Simon Zekaria at simon.zekaria@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for British American Tobacco (BTI)
DateTimeHeadline
09/11/201213:02:04LONDON MARKETS: Burberry Tumbles 21% As London Miners Retreat
09/11/201212:52:07British American Tobacco Buys 200,000 Shares for Treasury
09/10/201212:49:11British American Tobacco Buys Back 315,000 Shares
09/07/201212:39:08British American Tobacco Buys Back 300,000 Shares
09/06/201212:53:11British American Tobacco Buys Back 220,000 Shares for Treasury/3,232.6771P
09/05/201212:40:04British American Tobacco Buys 300,000 Shares for Treasury/3,221.8702P
09/03/201212:54:15British American Tobacco Buys Back 115,000 Shares For Treasury/3,321.0775P
08/31/201213:01:35British American Tobacco Buys Back 218,517 Shares
08/30/201213:01:52British American Tobacco Buys 200,000 Shares for Cancellation...
08/29/201213:09:49British American Tobacco Buys 250,000 Own Shares to Hold
08/28/201218:34:07Mexican Industry Group Blames Cigarette Contraband on Tax
08/28/201212:55:08British American Tobacco Buys 175,000 shares at 3,292P
08/24/201212:39:23British American Tobacco Buys Back 200,000 Shares
08/23/201212:54:24LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Trades Choppy As Data Disappoint
08/23/201212:52:00British American Tobacco Buys Back 175,000 Shares For Treasury
08/22/201213:35:05British American Tobacco Buys Back 220,000 Shares for Treasury
08/20/201212:56:03British American Tobacco Buys Back 160,000 Shares For Treasury
08/17/201212:34:19British American Tobacco Buys 200,000 Shares for Treasury at...
08/16/201212:47:25British American Tobacco Buys 200,000 Shares for Treasury at...
08/15/201212:59:46British American Tobacco Buys Back 185,000 Shares

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