Shares in British American Tobacco were down on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading after the group issued a positive statement for the three months ended 31 March.

Organic revenue growth was reported as being up five per cent in the period, although organic volumes dropped 1.8 per cent. Volumes from subsidiaries were down 2.4 per cent to 164 billion.

However the company said that volume of its Global Drive Brands increased nine per cent.

During the period the group bought back 4.7 million shares at a cost of £111 million at an average cost of £23.91 per share.

Nicandro Durante, Chief Executive, commented, "British American Tobacco has made a good start to the year and our rate of organic volume decline is slowing. Our innovations are enabling us to take price increases and grow share in our Top 40 markets."

By 14:10 shares in British American Tobacco were down 1.03 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 2,604.00 pence per share.