Strong currency sees profit rise for BAT

Posted on 7 May 2008 by The Manufacturer

British American Tobacco (BAT) has beaten first quarter profit expectations thanks to strong currency exchange rates and improved pricing.

The company achieved an 18 per cent increase in pre-tax profits compared to the previous year – £54 million was added to the £807 million operating profits thanks to the strengthening of key currencies against sterling.

While sales have fallen in the US and certain European countries due to smoking bans and increased taxes, BAT has seen its profits sustained by emerging markets.

European profits rose by 26 per cent to £230 million as demand increased in Russia, Switzerland and Romania, and in Asia Pacific profits rose by 16 per cent to £193 million, mainly due to the strong exchange rate and growth in areas such as Pakistan and Malaysia.

Where brands were concerned, sales of four of BAT’s key products – Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, Dunhill and Kent – rose by 23 per cent.