BAT first-half net profit rises 8.3% to RM407mil
The Star - Jul 17 4:42 PM
PETALING JAYA: British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd's (BAT) net profit for the six months ended June 30 increased RM31.3mil, or 8.3%, to RM406.6mil compared with the previous corresponding period.
Its pre-tax profit for the first half also improved to RM549.7mil from RM514.2mil previously, underpinned by factors that include the absence of competitive price discounting activities, continued productivity savings and lower financing costs.
On a quarterly basis, net profit rose 9.4% to RM195.2mil compared with RM178.5mil achieved in the previous corresponding quarter. Its earnings per share also improved to 68.40 sen versus 62.50 sen previously.
BAT said the improved revenue for the first half to RM2.04bil from RM1.87bil previously was due to higher pricing and better sales mix, which helped offset lower sales volumes from the domestic market.
The company grew its market share by 0.3 percentage points during the period, driven by the performance of its global drive brands, Dunhill and Pall Mall.
"Dunhill continued its exceptional performance by growing share by 1.1 percentage points, reinforcing its strong leadership position within the premium segment, while Pall Mall registered a growth of 0.6 percentage points," it said in the notes accompanying its financials.
In a statement yesterday, BAT said legal cigarette volumes had depressed, following the latest preliminary results of the contraband and unauthorised cigarettes survey by the Confederation of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers.
The survey revealed that from February to April, the level of illegal cigarette trade had increased to 24.9% from 23.8% in 2007.
"High and sporadic excise increases will continue to fuel illicit trade. We hope the Government will take this factor into consideration in the coming budget," said managing director Jack Bowles.
He added that the group expected the outlook for the remainder of the year to remain satisfactory at best, given the challenges above.
BAT declared a first interim dividend of 113 sen per share, tax exempt under the single-tier tax system for the year ending Dec 31.