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Tobacco News
BAT Malaysia Q1 lower sales offset by higher profit margins
  By: -
Source: PA News, 2002-04-16, via tobacco.org

British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd said its sales figures fell in the three months to March because of a decline in sales volume of duty free cigarettes and its contract manufacturing operations.

However, it recorded higher profits as margins from domestic cigarette sales improved following the hike in cigarette prices after tobacco duties were increased in the 2002 Budget last October.

BAT reported first quarter sales of 769.820 million rgt and net profit of 165.074 million rgt compared to 782.937 million sales and 160.484 million net profit a year earlier.

The company also said domestic sales volumes were relatively flat year-on-year between the two quarters but on a quarter-on-quarter basis, sales in the January-March period were higher against the October-December period as the latter was affected by the Ramadan fasting month.

Although domestic cigarette sales are currently slightly down compared to a year ago,  BAT said it expects prospects for the rest of the year to be satisfactory.

The company said its flagship Dunhill brand continued to grow steadily in market share during the first quarter, with sales volume marginally higher than the previous year's quarter, while its other brands performed satisfactorily.

BAT also said the special assistance programme of 2.50 rgt per kilogramme to the domestic tobacco growers will continue this year while it also expects to supplement the poor local crop with imported tobacco leaf from Indonesia.

"The total cost of these two initiatives is expected to be less than the 35.0 million rgt incurred last year net of any savings in import duty," BAT said in a statement accompanying the release of its results.


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