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BATBC eyeing export market

  • Published at 06:58 pm February 17th, 2021
British American Tobacco Bangladesh BAT BC new logo

'We have been considering exploring this opportunity but the pandemic pushed our investment plan back'

British American Tobacco (BATBC)is set to invest Tk 192.5 crore to increase the production capacity of its factory in Savar in light of upcoming export opportunities.

“We see great potential in cigarette exports,” Md Azizur Rahman, company secretary of BATBC, told Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

And the superior quality of BATBC cigarettes, whose brands include a mix of high- and low-end brands like Benson & Hedges, John Player, Derby, Hollywood and Pilot, means opportunities are aplenty, he said.

“We have been considering exploring this opportunity but the pandemic pushed our investment plan back,” he said, adding that the investment will be made from the company’s own funds.

The development comes a week after the Bangladesh subsidiary of the British multinational tobacco company posted its highest profits yet in 2020 as the demand for cigarettes during the outbreak of Covid-19, which mainly affects the respiratory system, has proved resilient.

Last year, the company, whose brands include a mix of high- and low-end brands like Benson & Hedges, John Player, Derby, Hollywood and Pilot, posted a profit of about Tk 1,088.6 crore, up 36.9 per cent year-on-year.

Subsequently, its board announced a 600 per cent cash dividend and stock dividend of 1:2 for the year, up from 400 per cent cash dividend announced for 2019. BATBC’s financial year runs from January to December.

The Bangladesh subsidiary of the British multinational tobacco company’s performance is in line with its parent’s.

Yesterday, the £66 billion company posted a 9 per cent rise in profit in 2020 of £8.7 billion, after the pandemic delivered a smaller-than-expected blow to the industry. 

In 2020, shares of BATBC, which is amongst the top five companies on the bourse in terms of market capitalisation, gained 20 per cent. 

Since its 2020 earnings announcement on February 10, shares of BATBC gained 6.2 per cent. Yesterday, they closed at Tk 1,602.9.  

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