KUALA LUMPUR: British American Tobacco (M) Bhd posted a third straight quarter of operating profit growth, as its main cigarette brands Dunhill, Rothmans and KYO gained market shares in their respective segments. BAT Malaysia’s growing its market share within the legal space saw its profit from operations for the quarter increase by 19% to RM104mil. “This improvement came off the back of a 5% jump in revenue to RM660mil compared to the third quarter,” its managing director Jonathan Reed said in a statement today. Profit from operations for the full year ended Dec 31, 2020 was RM346mil, down 28% from a year ago. Net profit was RM242mil from RM346mil previously. Reed attributed the lower profits to legal market contraction as a result of high illicit cigarette volume, growth of illicit vaping, market downtrading and lower duty-free sales. "It is critical that the Malaysian Government introduces regulatory and excise frameworks for nicotine vaping," Reed said. "This would ensure that the 1 million Malaysian vapers can access products of known quality, allow the government to collect significant revenue and is part of our global purpose of creating A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business,” he added.
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