Satellite operator Inmarsat said adjusted core earnings at its main business rose 6.8 per cent in the first quarter as it makes a strong start to the year.
The group, whose satellites helped to track the missing aircraft MH370 earlier this year, said earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $164.7m for the three months ended March 31st 2014 from $154.2m the same time a year earlier. Total revenue for the period rose 9.9% to $344.7m.
Chief Executive Officer Rupert Pearce said: "We have made a strong start to the year in both our wholesale MSS business and in our retail operations. Our MSS business grew by 4% year over year, driven by strong results from our maritime and aviation businesses. We have also completed two strategic transactions."
Inmarsat said it remains on track to launch two further satellites in 2014 to complete its GX network.
"We remain confident that commercial GX services will be introduced in July in line with our plan. Finally, we are indebted to the skill and professionalism of our team in providing vital support and information in the search for the missing aircraft MH370," it said.
Imperial Tobacco, the company behind brands such as Golden Virginia and Lambert & Butlers, lifted its interim dividend by a tenth but said that first-half results were hit by inventory reductions.
The company's "stock optimisation programme", aimed at strengthening its long-term supply effectiveness, lowered trade inventories in some markets, most notably in its 'Growth Markets' of Iraq and Russia.
Meanwhile, difficult economic conditions and illicit trade also had an impact on results in Imperial's Returns Markets South regions, while market weakness continued in Russia following regulatory and excise changes. These negative effects were partly offset by results in Germany and Australia in Returns Markets North.
Group revenues were down 5% at £12.72bn in the six months to March 31st, while operating profit declined 17% to £999m. Nevertheless, the dividend for the first half was increased by 10% to 38.8p per share.
Tobacco net revenue fell 2% at constant currency to £3.13bn as volume declines of 8% more than offset price and mix gains. On an underlying basis, tobacco revenues rose 2%.
"Our stock optimisation programme has inevitably impacted some of our numbers but I'm pleased with our underlying performance," said Chief Executive Alison Cooper.
Reported pre-tax profit totalled £648m in the first half, down 22% from £830m the year before, mainly as a result of lower revenues and higher expenses. A higher tax charge led to earnings per share (EPS) falling 39% to 38.1p.
On an adjusted basis, EPS increased by 3% at constant currency rates
The company continues to expect "modest" growth in adjusted EPS at constant currency for the full year.
Cooper said: "Our second-half priority is to build on our growth momentum with a particular focus on strengthening our market shares, which are on an improving trend across many territories. Conditions are still tough in some markets but we continue to demonstrate our resilience and remain on course to deliver our full-year targets."