BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
CIGARETTE manufacturer, British American Tobacco (BAT) Zimbabwe says its sales volumes have remained stable despite a challenging operating environment.
“Our company continued to produce as expected and despite the challenging operating environment, our sales volume continue to perform relatively well. Like any other company in Zimbabwe, we are facing challenges with respect to making payments and our working capital requirements,” head of legal and external affairs, Mduduzi Lokotfwako told NewsDay.
“Our company will continue to strive to deliver shareholder value as part of our focus. Looking ahead, our company will also continue to ensure its strategies
remain appropriate and that its brand portfolio is consumer relevant at all times,” he said.
Lokotfwako said they will continue to aggressively invest in their brands to ensure they remain relevant to consumers.
They would also maximise on technology to improve efficiencies and gain customer and consumer insights.
“We want to achieve the “what”, but always challenge the “how”. Given the volatility of the economic environment, the control environment is key to safeguard
our company assets and shareholder value,” he said.
The cigarette manufacturer posted an 18% increase in after tax profit to US$31,4 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from US$26,7 million in the
previous year driven by an increase in sales of 16% and improved operational efficiencies.
The group’s revenue was up 16% to US$42,7 million from US$36,8 million in 2017 backed by strong sales performance and an improvement in the sales mix.
BAT’s major shareholders include BAT International Holdings (UK), Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe Limited, BAT Zimbabwe Tobacco Empowerment trust
and BAT Zimbabwe Employee Share Ownership Trust.