LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - British American Tobacco expects 2012 to be a year of good earnings growth despite the strong pound holding back growth at the half-year after the world's No 2 cigarette maker gained from price rises and strong emerging market growth.
The London-based group, which makes Kent, Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall cigarettes, on Wednesday said its half year volumes were flat at 344 billion cigarettes while price rises pushed up its underlying half year sales by 4 percent.
The company posted half-year adjusted diluted earnings per share which rose 7 percent to 102.4 pence in line with a consensus forecast of 102.5 pence according to a company-compiled survey of analysts.
The half-year dividend, set at one third of 2011's full year level, rose 11 percent to 42.2 pence a share.
Reporting by David Jones