Income darling Imperial Tobacco gets OFT fine quashed

Income investor favourite Imperial Tobacco has seen its share price rise after winning a case against the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Anthony Nutt
Anthony Nutt

The stock is a staple holding of many income investors, including Invesco Perpetual’s Neil Woodford, Artemis’ Adrian Frost and Jupiter’s Anthony Nutt.

Imperial Tobacco’s stocks were up 0.81% at 1545 GMT to 2370p after a £112.3m fine by the OFT was overturned in a Competition Appeal Tribunal hearing. The OFT alleged that the firm had acted anti-competitively when undertaking some promotions with retailers.

In a statement, the company says: “Under this independent scrutiny it became clear that the case the OFT was seeking to establish had no basis in fact, law or economics.

“We have consistently believed that this ought to have been apparent to the OFT a long time before now and that we should not have been forced into incurring considerable legal costs and management time defending ourselves in these circumstances.”

The company adds that it will now applying to recover legal costs linked with the case.

Imperial Tobacco accounts for 3.98% of Woodford’s £11 billion Invesco Perpetual High Income fund, 2.7% of Frost’s £3.9 billion Artemis Income fund and 3.32% of Nutt’s £2.2 billion Jupiter Income fund.

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