British American Tobacco (BAT), a company involved in the sale and distribution of cigarettes in Uganda, has reported a profit of Shs 13bn while announcing its 2018 performance.
BAT said in a statement they posted a profit after tax of Shs 13.7bn and filed Shs 90.5bn in taxes to the government as per its audited results. This represents an increase from Shs 81bn in 2017 and Shs 73bn in 2016 in taxes.
BAT’s brands include Sportsman, Rex, Dunhill and Safari.
While giving a comment on the results, Managing Director, Mathu Kiunjuri attributed the performance to quality and value of their brands to the clients in Uganda.
“Despite a challenging business environment and growth in the illicit trade of cigarettes, British American Tobacco Uganda (BAT Uganda) posted a strong set of results in 2018 with profit after tax of Shs 13.7bn in 2018,” he said.
“The improved performance is attributed to positive outcomes from our productivity improvements and focus on our value brands, ensuring we continue to provide consumers with the products they want in the market,” Kiunjuri added.
He says that ‘’BAT Uganda remains a significant contributor to government revenues, contributing Shs 90.5bn in the form of Excise Duty and VAT for the full year 2018.”
On his part, Chairman of BAT board, Dr Elly Karuhanga attributed the spike in profits to among other factors good infrastructure in Uganda, which enabled them to transport their products easily.
“In 2018, BAT Uganda delivered tangible results for its shareholders by focusing on initiatives that improved productivity as well as driving sales of its key brands,” he said.
“Key to delivering this is a regionally integrated infrastructure network. We therefore applaud the government’s investment in infrastructure projects and the ambition to address the cost of doing business in Uganda,” he added.
Karuhanga however asked government to provide support in addressing the negative impacts of illicit trade which according to him, results into loss of billions of Uganda Shillings in government revenues and presents a threat to legitimate business.
BAT Uganda ceased all processing of tobacco leaf at its Kampala plant in 2013.
The plant was established in 1949 and its equipment was regarded as too old to produce to international standards.
In lieu of replacing the machinery, the company moved all its manufacturing business to related company, BAT Kenya.