Price rises helped lift Imperial Tobacco's full-year revenue and offset a dip in volumes.

The world's fourth-largest cigarette group said its volumes suffered in recession-hit Spain and tough markets in Poland and Ukraine.

The British group, which sells over 340 billion cigarettes annually, said revenue would rise around 4% for its year to the end of September when stripping out currency fluctuations.

Its brands include Davidoff, Gauloises, JPS and West.

Imperial aims to counter Europe's downturn by offering economy-brand cigarettes, such as JPS and Lambert & Butler and roll-your-own products, while raising prices for more affluent consumers in western Europe and the US.

It said while growth was particularly strong in eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East and also in its Asia Pacific region, volumes were hit by weakness in Poland, Spain and Ukraine, as well as by sanctions in Syria.

Imperial has suffered in Ukraine due to increased illicit trade in cigarettes on which no duty has been paid, while its business in Poland for hand-rolling tobacco was hit as farmers sold more tobacco directly to consumers.

Volumes have been falling in Spain - its third-biggest market after Britain and Germany - due to recession and high unemployment, while United Nations sanctions since the middle of 2011 have halted its trade to Syria.

The Bristol-based group said strategic brands such as Davidoff and Gauloises were expected to see strong volume and revenue gains as they continued to represent a rising proportion of the group's overall cigarette volumes.

Imperial said its operating performance and financial position were in line with its expectations as it gave a trading update towards the end of its financial year to September 30 and ahead of annual results set for the end of next month.