The maker of Winston cigarettes and Backwoods cigars has also reported a small rise in first-half sales.It had said in April that “investors based in Russia” were buying its business there, which contributed about 2% to annual net sales when combined with Ukraine.

During an earnings call today, executives said the transaction was closed and there’s “absolutely no clause of buyback in there”.

Imperial also reported adjusted net revenue of about £3.5 billion, up 0.3% in constant currencies, for the six months ended March 31.

Demand for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products is helping to make up for lower tobacco volumes.

CEO Stefan Bomhard is steering Imperial through a five-year turnaround plan laid out in 2021 focused on its five top markets and expanding next-generation products (NGP) deemed less harmful to health. Together, the US, UK, Germany, Spain and Australia account for over 70% of Imperial’s revenue.

“Our focus for the remainder of 2022 will be to invest further in our five priority markets and begin the roll-out of our NGP strategy,” Mr Bomhard said.

Adjusted earnings per share rose to 113 pence per share from 107 pence a share last year.

Sales of next generation brands, which include Pulze heated tobacco and blu e-cigarettes, were up 8.7% to £101m, driven by demand in Europe.

In November, the company reported a more than 50% reduction in losses in the business.