BAT posts £12.18bn 6-month revenues

Photo: EPA

The UK tobacco giant British American Tobacco reported robust growth in sales and profits as most countries lifted restrictions related to pandemic. In most countries sales of cigarettes and tobacco products were forbidden during lockdowns, BBC elaborated. BAT reported an 8.1% rise in revenues to £12.18bn for the first six months of the year.

Still the company confirmed that it eyed cannabis business as an alternative to spur sales. British American Tobacco said it wanted to "accelerate" its transformation by reducing the health impact of its products. In March, BAT bought a stake in Canadian medical cannabis maker Organigram. It also signed a deal to research a new range of adult cannabis products, initially focused on cannabidiol. "As we think about our portfolio for the future, certainly beyond nicotine products are interesting for us as another wave of future growth," BAT boss Jack Bowles said. He added that he saw cannabis related products as part of its future growth. "I think CBD is part of the future, but the present challenge is reduced harm in tobacco and nicotine alternatives, encouraging people to switch."

The tobacco giant also saw its fastest gain in new customers, with users of non-combustible products - such as vapes - jumping 2.6 million to 16.1 million. Despite its commitment to healthier choices, BAT said sales of its cigarettes recovered in some developing nations following the end of coronavirus lockdowns when sales were banned in some countries. BAT said overall revenue from its combustibles division - cigarettes and heated tobacco products - fell 3% to £10.5bn.


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