British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) reported on Thursday a “strong business performance across all categories” for the 2018 financial year.
Headquartered in London, the multination cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company posted a 45.2% rise in operating profit to £9.31 billion. Likewise, revenue also rose 25.2% to £24.5 billion.
British American Tobacco withdrew from Formula One in 2006 after the sport banned tobacco advertising. But, last month, it announced its return through a “global partnership” with McLaren. This makes it the second tobacco company to return to the sport for promotional purposes not covered by the tobacco advertising ban.
Volume grew 3.3% to 708 billion, though this was offset by lower volume in Saudi Arabia, the US, Brazil and Russia.
Pre-tax profit fell, however, over the financial year to £8.35 million from the £29.53 million figure a year earlier. Additionally, dividend per share was increased by 4% to 203.0p per share.
In 2007, new legislation made it illegal to smoke in all public enclosed – or substantially enclosed – areas in England.
Over a fifth of the world’s adult population smokes. Recant estimates for the worth of the global tobacco market come in at roughly $760 billion (excluding China). Over $680 billion of this figure is generated from the sale of conventional cigarettes, with roughly 5,500 billion cigarettes being consumed each year. Additionally, the number of children vaping has doubled in five years, according to official figures.
The health risks that smoke imposes are very much real, but the tobacco industry nevertheless is a substantial contributor to the economies of several countries across the globe. That said, restrictions on the manufacture, sale, marketing and packaging of tobacco products are enforced in almost every country and market.
In 2017, the UK government outlined its aim to create a “smoke-free” generation in its tobacco control plan for England. Under these guidelines, it aims to reduce the number of adults smoking in England from 15.5% to 12% or below.
At 14:51 GMT Thursday, shares in British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS) were trading -1.41%.