Business - Companies & Markets - Featured - Local - November 4, 2020

BAT Sales Slump by 8 Percent

By Tariro Chimhanda

THE country’s biggest cigarette manufacturer BAT Zimbabwe has recorded an 8 percent decrease in sales compared to the same period last year,the company said in its trading update for the 9 months ending 30 September.

According to BAT,this was mainly because of the effects of the ravaging Coronavirus and the ‘depressed consumer spending’.

“The Company’s total sales volumes for the period under review decreased by 8% compared to the same period in prior year mainly due to depressed consumer spending and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Premium Brand, Dunhill returned to the market and resultantly it recorded a significant increase of 962% versus the same period in prior year,”BAT said .

The cigarette manufacturer is buoyed by the performance of its returning brands Premier and Dunhill which recorded over 900 percent increase in sales this year compared to last year.

“The Premium Brand, Dunhill returned to the market and resultantly it recorded a significant increase of 962% versus the same period in prior year,”it added.

However, there was a sharp decline in sales for the other brand.

“The Aspirational Premium brands, Newbury and Kingsgate volumes declined by 33% compared to same period in prior year. The Value for Money segment, (Madison and Everest) and Low Value for Money brand (Ascot), saw a decline of 5% and 43% respectively,”.

BAT says it remain optimistic that it will record growth despite the impact of Covid-19 and the rising inflation.

“While the trading conditions are expected to remain challenging for the rest of 2020 mainly driven by macro-economic variables and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company believes that it will deliver value growth for its shareholders.

“The foreign currency auction platform has opened access to foreign currency required for raw materials imports and has brought about stabilization of the exchange rate which will alleviate some of these challenging trading conditions, ”said the company’s chairman Lovemore Manatsa.

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