BAT revenue and profit decline for fourth straight year in FY19

KUALA LUMPUR: British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT) reported its fourth straight years of declining revenue and profits, as rampant illegal cigarette trade continued to gain market share at the expense of legal players.

Full year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19) net profit slumped 27% to RM343.8mil, or RM1.21 a share compared with RM470.7mil, or RM1.64 see a share made a year earlier.

Revenue fell 11% to RM2.5bil, the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

The weak results, BAT said were mainly attributed to lower cigarette sales volume as a result of significant legal market contraction, smokers switch to cheaper brands, as well as the absence of one-off factors reported in the previous year.

"The group’s growth strategy will be very much dependent on the recovery of the legal cigarette market, a regulated nicotine landscape, sensible fiscal policies and resolution of the affordability issues affecting consumers," it said.

The company has declared a fourth interim dividend of 33 sen a share to lift its full year payout to RM1.18 sen a share.

Meanwhile, in separate filings with Bursa Malaysia, BAT has announced that managing director Hendrik Stoel has opted for an early retirement.

The company has appointed Jonathan Darlow Reed as new managing director.

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