TOP NEWS: British American Tobacco Expects To Report Growth In 2020

(Alliance News) - British American Tobacco PLC on Wednesday raised its revenue expectations, as ...

Alliance News 9 December, 2020 | 8:43AM
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(Alliance News) - British American Tobacco PLC on Wednesday raised its revenue expectations, as the hit from Covid-19 has been less than first feared.

The London-based cigarette manufacturing company said it was maintaining 2020 guidance as it seeks to transform its business, by switching to cigarette alternatives. The company is investing more in its New Category business.

For 2020, BAT expects constant currency adjusted revenue growth to be at the high end of the guided 1% to 3% range, driven by strong cigarette price mix amid a continued good performance in the company's developed market businesses and despite lapping a strong prior year comparator. In 2019, BAT reported revenue of GBP25.88 billion.

It also anticipates a reduced hit to earnings as a result of Covid-19 of 2.5%, from 3.0% previously.

Further, BAT expects a strong performance in its US business, with continued cigarette value share growth, up 40 basis points year-to-date and group cigarette volume is expected to be ahead of the industry.

"We are growing our New Category business as fast as possible, and we are proud to now have around 13 million non-combustible product consumers. We are continuing to increase investment in our three New Categories of potentially reduced risk cigarette alternatives, capitalising on our momentum, while continuing to deliver on our financial commitments," said Chief Executive Jack Bowles.

"We are confident about the future for BAT and are committed to our 2025 New Category revenue ambition of GBP5 billion," added Bowles. "While the environment remains uncertain, due to the continuing challenges of Covid-19, the business is performing strongly."

BAT shares were trading 0.6% lower in London on Wednesday at 2,883.50 pence each, while in Johannesburg, the stock was up 0.2% at ZAR574.63 a share.

By Evelina Grecenko; evelinagrecenko@alliancenews.com

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