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LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters)British tobacco company Imperial Brands IMB.L on Thursday forecast full-year net revenue to be broadly flat and in line with market estimates, as it works through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The forecast is slightly above guidance provided at its half-year results, the maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes said in its first indication of performance under CEO Stefan Bomhard, who joined in July.

However, the company forecast earnings per share down around 6%, also in line with market expectations it said, due to increasing its provisions as a result of COVID-19-related additional COVID-19-related manufacturing costsand uncertainties.

Imperial said the pandemic has increased demand for tobacco, resulting in better-than-expected sales volumes.

Improvements were seen in key European markets and the United States, which helped offset weaker performance at duty-free shops and in some traditional summer tourist destinations.

Overall, the company expects tobacco net revenue up 1%. It expects sales of “next generation products,” including e-cigarettes, to fall 30%.

Imperial will report full-year results on Nov. 17, at which time it will announce the date of a capital markets event in the first quarter of 2021.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Jason Neely)

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